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J & W Murphy Foundation gives record-breaking gift to help community hub respond to increasing need

The North Grove using five-year, $525,000 donation to meet growing demand and costs

September 20, 2023


A community hub in Dartmouth North that’s experiencing double-digit demand for its services has announced a record-breaking donation from the J & W Murphy Foundation to help it meet the growing need.

The North Grove, which provides a wide range of family support, food and advocacy programs for individuals and families experiencing poverty, shared the news of the foundation’s five-year, $525,000 commitment at a community event last night.

“This has been such a difficult year for the community, economically and emotionally. This generous, multi-year gift from the J & W Murphy Foundation, along with the support of so many other donors, is an assurance to The North Grove community that we are here for you, no matter what” said Doug Townsend, Board Chair of The North Grove.

The North Grove supports the entire community, offering prenatal programs, child development and parenting support as well as a wide range of food programs, volunteer opportunities, and additional services provided by other organizations. It also runs a 20,000-square-foot Community Farm, outdoor courtyard and playspace. More than 50% of the organization’s $2.1-million budget is funded by individual donors, foundations and corporate supporters.

“This funding comes at an important point, as The North Grove tries to expand our services and our reach to meet the growing need,” says Executive Director, Wendy Fraser. “We’re partnering with more organizations to bring in additional resources; we’re bringing in more volunteers to help out, and we’re asking all of our donors to consider an increase in their support so we can continue to support this community.”

Located in the heart of one of the city’s most challenged communities, The North Grove has seen dramatic increases in all its food-related programming over the past few months, including:

  • A 70% increase in the number of people attending community meals since January 2023.

  • A 100% increase since January in trading cupboard visits, where participants access non-perishable food, diapers, toiletries and toilet paper. Numbers have climbed significantly every month, reaching an unprecedented 179 visits in August.

  • A 135% increase in shoppers at its subsidized produce market. The North Grove subsidizes produce prices to make fresh food more accessible to people experiencing food insecurity. In 2022, the weekly market had an average of 85 shoppers. In May 2023 the average number of shoppers was 200.

The J & W Murphy Foundation has supported The North Grove since 2020 when it played a key role in the organization’s capital campaign to bring its family and community food centre together under one roof. “Faced with record-high demand, declining donations, and the increasing cost of food and services, it’s becoming harder and harder for impactful community organizations like The North Grove to be there for everyone who needs them,“ said Lisa Murphy, of the J & W Murphy Foundation.

“We hope our gift sends a message about how much we believe in The North Grove, and how much we value their efforts to bring food security, family support and friendship to so many.”


About The North Grove The North Grove is a dynamic community hub, located in the heart of Dartmouth North, that offers programs and services for people to learn and connect through family support, food, and friendship. Learn more at ### Media Contact Ellen Riopelle Communications Specialist 902-464-8234 ext. 1003


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