News Releases

Three Saskatoon Charities Providing Food and Shelter Receive $6 Million in Multi-year Funding

Saskatoon, January 18, 2024—Charities providing nutritious food and safe shelter for vulnerable people in Saskatoon are receiving significant new multi-year investment, thanks to one donor family’s heartfelt gift, announced Jan. 18 by Saskatoon Community Foundation.

The Brownlee Family Fund, established by Ina Lou and Wayne Brownlee with Saskatoon Community Foundation, directs $6 million over 15 years to The Salvation Army, Saskatoon Friendship Inn, and Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre.

Friendship Inn team
FI Stephanie Hughes Wayne and Ina Lou Brownlee Sandra Kary Stobbe photo
SA 6
Food bank exterior web
FB 3
SA Wayne and Ina Lou with staff
SA building

The three charities received their first installment of the grants during the holiday season. Ina Lou and Wayne Brownlee are longtime supporters and close friends of all three organizations, with a deep understanding of their services and strengths.

In using their private family foundation to invest in a Saskatoon Community Foundation Donor Advised Spendable Fund (DASF), they have established a fund designated for food and shelter that grows over time, keeps pace with inflation, and generates annual grants for three charities.

For many Saskatoon residents, nutritious food and safe shelter are difficult to get, or entirely out of reach. Charities serving vulnerable individuals and families meet emergent needs for thousands in our community; however sustainable, multi-year funding is key to providing these basic services. The Brownlees’ generous gift will provide a backbone of support for the three agencies over the next 15 years and will touch thousands of lives.

The Salvation Army

Providing a range of shelter services and wrap-around supports, The Salvation Army will continue serving people in need—affirming dignity and hope—thanks to the Brownlee Family Fund.

“The Salvation Army is excited about the opportunity to continue to partner with the Brownlee family as we work to provide shelter and meaningful supports to those in Saskatoon who may find themselves homeless,” said Lt.-Col. Brian Armstrong, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army Prairies and Northern Territory Division. “We know that working together as a community we can make a real impact and provide hope to so many in need of these very essential services.”

Saskatoon Friendship Inn

Saskatoon Friendship Inn provides more than 1,000 meals per day for community members, often for people experiencing homelessness, mental health issues or addictions. The Brownlee gift will enhance stability for the Inn, ensuring no one who comes to its doors goes hungry.

“We are so grateful for this extraordinary gift. It means we will have a sense of stability knowing this support is here for us each year,” stated Saskatoon Friendship Inn Executive Director Sandra Kary.

Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre

For the Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre, this gift means a better variety of nutritious food in clients’ baskets. It provides better quality nutrition, enables efficient bulk purchases of groceries, and contributes to healthy futures for community members who rely on the food bank.

“This gift from the Brownlee Family Fund is essential for our ability to offer good food to our community. Because of this support, people are walking away with food baskets that are both filling and nourishing. Without the generosity of supporters like the Brownlees, we’d be limited in what we provide, facing the difficult choice of quantity over quality. This donation has a lasting impact for families we support, and it boosts their overall well-being,” said Laurie O’Connor, Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre Executive Director.

Private Family Foundations using Saskatoon Community Foundation

Saskatoon Community Foundation’s innovative Donor Advised Spendable Fund offers a philanthropic investment vehicle for private family foundations and other donors who want to target their giving for community causes to make an immediate impact.

“Saskatoon Community Foundation acts as a bridge for philanthropy and community investment. We work with philanthropists who identify charities they are confident in supporting, whose missions they are passionate about. By establishing a Donor Advised Spendable Fund, they can see the impact of their charitable investment during their lifetime,” said Saskatoon Community Foundation CEO Carm Di Santo Michalenko.

Monthly donations of any size are also a welcome way for donors to provide sustainable support to their charities of choice. The Salvation Army, Saskatoon Friendship Inn, and Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre value the support of monthly donors.

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Jen Pederson (she/her)
Philanthropic Advisor and Manager of Development, Saskatoon Community Foundation

Phone: 306-665-9880

Darlene Burton
Divisional Director of Development, Salvation Army

Phone: 780-264-5967

Sandra Kary
Executive Director, Saskatoon Friendship Inn

Phone: 306-242-5122 ext. 4

Laurie O’Connor (she/her)
Executive Director, Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre

Phone: 306-664-6565 ext 232

About Saskatoon Community Foundation:

Saskatoon Community Foundation inspires philanthropy, builds community, and leads change in Saskatoon. The foundation stewards $76.1 million in endowed and non-endowed funds and manages $24.6 million in funds for other charitable organizations, ensuring a reliable stream of grant funding flows into the community forever. The foundation has worked and served on Treaty 6 Territory and the Homeland of the Métis since 1970. It has disbursed over $61.5 million in grants for the community, supporting over 300 charities and representing over 400 fundholders. Beyond charitable sector expertise, the foundation’s professional staff team brings passion for actively supporting positive change in our community for quality of life, youth, equity, inclusion, and reconciliation. Follow Saskatoon Community Foundation on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram, or visit our website at

Photos above, left to right, top to bottom:

1. Saskatoon Friendship Inn team, submitted 2. Past Chair Stephanie Hughes, Wayne Brownlee, Ina Lou Brownlee, and Executive Director Sandra Kary in the Saskatoon Friendship Inn dining room, photo by Dave Stobbe 3. Shelter space at Salvation Army, submitted 4. Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre building, submitted 5. People bagging food at Saskatoon Food Bank & Learning Centre, submitted 6. Brownlees visit Salvation Army facility, photo by Dave Stobbe 7. Salvation Army building, submitted.