St Marys and Area

St Marys Rail Trail

Your Impact in St. Marys & Area

• support 18 programs and services for St. Marys & Area residents
2,270 people helped in St. Marys & Area last year
235 young people participated in after school programming at the St. Marys Youth Centre
162 people accessed affordable, nutritious food at the St. Marys NOURISH Market


The St. Marys Community Developer and Support Worker has already begun addressing the pressing local issue of social isolation. Through partnerships with local government and organizations, United Way’s St. Marys and Area Community Committee is committed to supporting residents in need — particularly those living in and around social housing — understanding their challenges and connecting them with services while strengthening networks and education; ensuring the community becomes an even happier, healthier place.

URGENT NEEDS FUND for Individuals

The Urgent Needs Fund is designed to support local residents in a time of crisis with funds for essentials such as rent, groceries, car repairs, medication and child care. United Way is also working for long-term change, lifting people beyond poverty while still ensuring their immediate, basic needs are met:


Maggie was sad and happy that her grandchildren were with her now. She was thrilled to be able to see them every day, but she was sad that her daughter was in such a bad place. Chris and Clare had arrived suddenly two days before with nothing but the clothes they were wearing. Maggie’s mind raced, thinking about her modest savings, wondering how she could afford the cost of clothes, toiletries, some toys and extra food. Probably $120 would do it, but she had to budget carefully over a couple months; so extra on groceries now, one extra set of clothes…



United Way Perth-Huron supports 18 partners in St. Marys, providing valuable programs and services to residents in the community where they live. Together with committed volunteers and donors, United Way works to ensure a brighter future for even more local people. 

  • 521 people helped in St. Marys & Area by United Way Perth-Huron’s pandemic emergency relief efforts
  • 1,127 people were helped at food banks supplied by a United Way supported partner
  • 181 individual youth, family and caregivers accessed counselling and mentoring services
  • 5 children who witnessed violence participated in a counselling program
  • 8 men accessed institutional visiting and reintegration support services or needed transportation
  • 15 people connected to the community by transportation services

Addressing Food Insecurity

The effects of food insecurity go well beyond families not being able to afford healthy food. Food insecurity is linked to obesity, learning difficulties, reduced productivity for kids at school and poorer mental health. Health unit research identifies 11 per cent of Perth County residents as food insecure.

Action: St. Marys NOURISH Equal Access Food Market

  • Mitigates the effects of poverty by offering wholesale prices on local fresh veggies, fruits and meat to lower income residents
  • Provides a dignified shopping experience
  • Third Thursday of every month
  • Averaging 70 attendees every month
  • 230 people have signed up as members

    United Way St. Marys Community Committee

    Rob Edney (Co-chair) Leslie Edney (Co-chair) Gwen Bradley Nathan Brown Amanda Davis
    Kelly Deeks-Johnson Don Dingwall Cindi Jones John McGarry Marg McLean
    Jenny Mikita Diane O’Shea Kim Ross Jones Spencer Seymour Paul Williams
    Pamela Zabel        
    –> United Way Perth-Huron Community Volunteer Associate, St Marys and Area: Darby McCleary


    Changing Local Lives


    Kayla had to get away from an abusive family situation. She arrived at a local women’s shelter and connected with support agencies.
    Determined to finish school, Kayla got access to technology to do her work remotely thanks to the shelter’s help and she also received counselling.
    Despite her initial loneliness and isolation, Kayla found friendship and was able to move in to Second Stage housing. She stays connected with shelter staff and her new friends for support and Kayla’s resilience and determination means she has a better chance for a brighter future.


    Darla had to get out. It became more and more difficult to live with her abusive husband. The longer the pandemic lasted and the more certain Darla became to knowing it was time to make the move.
    It was a shock to her children, Mia and Jason, leaving their home and arriving at a shelter. Because of the pandemic, their first introduction to the children’s worker was done remotely, and they slowly built trust together.
    Thanks to help from a United Way supported program, Mia and Jason are doing better. They’re getting used to their new surroundings and Darla feels less stress knowing her kids are doing well and the family has the chance to build a brighter future.


    Supported Partners in St. Marys

    Alzheimer Society of Perth County ConnectYouth Perth-Huron Emily Murphy Centre Family Services Perth-Huron
    Huron County Food Bank Distribution Centre Huron-Perth Children’s Aid Society iVolunteer Perth-Huron John Howard Society of London & District
    KEYs — Keep Yourself Educated myPerthHuron NOURISH Equal Access Food Market ONE CARE Home & Community Support Services
    Rural Response for Healthy Children Social Research & Planning Council St. Marys Youth Centre 211
    YMCA of Stratford-Perth Youth in Action Grants    


    Stratford Perth Community Foundation


    St Marys Water Tower

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