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United Way Greater Toronto is on track to meet its 2022 campaign goal of $110-million, which will partly be directed toward providing long-term funding to 65 anchor agencies for programs focused on fighting poverty in the region.

The 2022 campaign had more than 2,200 volunteers from more than 800 workplaces and 80,000 individual donors contributing to the cause, chapter chief executive officer Daniele Zanotti and community campaign chair Darryl White announced at a local celebration in Toronto Tuesday night.

Long-term partners will receive $33-million over five years to offer 208 programs across Peel, Toronto and York regions to those in need, the non-profit said in a Wednesday news release. This flexible funding will allow agencies to plan for long-term programming and infrastructure needs, and also ensures priorities can shift in the case of an unexpected crisis such as supporting refugees or providing food and clothes in the case of severe weather events.

“Facing unprecedented demand for their services, these agencies are the front-line heroes that help our community continue to make progress,” Mr. White said in a statement.

One organization, Strides Toronto, will use the money to provide counselling to children in the shelter system and support youth programming in music and photography.

A portion of the funds collected will also go toward community program grants to support Indigenous, Black and other equity-deserving groups.

In 2022, more than two million people accessed the services and programs funded by the non-profit organization. This number is expected to increase for 2023 as most agencies are seeing spikes in demand, particularly from first-time visitors, amid a rising cost of living and increased inflation. The Toronto campaign, which kicked off in September, is the largest United Way fundraising initiative in the world.

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