Paige Hilland, Amanda Hewitt and Jaylene Bourdon with the SAFE Society along with Nan Gray and Melanie Bennett from the Shuswap Food Action Society take time out for a photo on April 27, 2021 with some of the small appliances that the community kindly donated to help make meal time easier for families the SAFE Society serves. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)

Paige Hilland, Amanda Hewitt and Jaylene Bourdon with the SAFE Society along with Nan Gray and Melanie Bennett from the Shuswap Food Action Society take time out for a photo on April 27, 2021 with some of the small appliances that the community kindly donated to help make meal time easier for families the SAFE Society serves. (Martha Wickett-Salmon Arm Observer)

Community chips in to help make meals easier for Shuswap families

Shuswap Food Action Society teams up with SAFE Society to support families in need

It was a match made in health and well-being.

The Shuswap Food Action Society teamed up with the SAFE Society over the month of April to help with the goal of providing healthy food to the families who use the services of the SAFE Society.

The collaboration included having the community drop off small appliances to be provided to families in need. The next step will be to put the donated items in packages along with food boxes and recipe books.

The SAFE Society’s Paige Hilland said the support has been much appreciated.

“We’re happy to collaborate and be supported by the Shuswap Food Action Society and the community, and we appreciate them supporting the work we’re already doing to connect people in need with food. This was a creative way they came up with to get healthy food to families who use our services.”

Melanie Bennett, secretary with the Food Action Society, said the idea came about following the success of the Coldest Night of the Year Campaign and the championing of collaboration between organizations.

“We know through our education with the Coldest Night that the housing costs are so outrageous, that it’s hard to really imagine what a mom, a dad or a grandparent… how they can afford their cost of living and have the ability to set up a good kitchen.”

Read more: Five years pass with no peace for families of North Okanagan-Shuswap missing women

Read more: Support, donations exceed expectations for Salmon Arm’s Coldest Night of the Year

Read more: Grant to support women with pets in Salmon Arm transition house

So the focus was on how to make it easier for a family to make simple, nutritious meals. The community responded with a good supply of small appliances.

Bennett said the conversation will continue among non-profits about food security and providing nutritious food to families, particularly children.

Statistics provided by the organizations show that while one in six children in B.C. live in households that struggle to feed them, in the Shuswap, the number is closer to one in five.

In response to COVID-19, the SAFE Society has set up its Human Connection Hub at 258 Hudson where women can come to access support and services within pandemic protocols. Although there is no room for donation drop-off, those with donations are invited to call 250-832-9616 as donations can still be dropped off at the women’s shelter.

For more than 40 years, the SAFE Society, in conjunction with many volunteers, staff, individuals and organizations, has operated the Women’s Emergency Shelter while providing a variety of supportive services to those experiencing intimate partner violence or other forms of abuse.
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