CALGARY -- The Government of Alberta will offer new recovery assistance for cultural and faith-based organizations in the province that have faced additional challenges during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Culture, Multiculturalism and Status of Women Minister Leela Sharon Aheer and Health Minister Tyler Shandro announced the Faith-based and Cultural Facility Grant Monday afternoon.

"The commitment of these very socially responsive and charity faith-based and cultural groups serving their communities is nothing short of inspirational," said Aheer.

"However, these facilities have been especially impacted by increased costs related to following public health measures coupled with reduced revenue from donations and — like the space we're in now — facility rentals and services.

"Until now, many places of worship have not been eligible for existing pandemic response funding from the federal government."

According to Aheer, a taxpayer investment of $1 million will fund the initative.

"Two hundred eligible faith-based and cultural organizations can each apply for a one-time grant of up to $5,000 to help to offset some of the costs that have been incurred by the public health measures," she said.

Aheer says faith-based and cultural organization have gone "above and beyond to bring hope and support and connection to their communities durign COVID-19" and she's honoured to support their efforts.

"I'm very, very proud to announce a new program to help these organizations get back to what they do best — supporting and engaging their communities," she said.