The Eagle Valley Community Support Society is redoubling fundraising efforts in the hope of adding more services to the ones it already provides. (contributed)

Sicamous community group seeks to expand nutrition, mental health services

Fundraising campaign underway to help Eagle Valley Community Support Society

The Eagle Valley Community Support Society wants to grow the ways they support residents of the Sicamous and Malakwa areas, but it will need financial help to do so.

One area where the society has expressed a desire to expand is working to ensure there is no food wasted that could be diverted to those in need. The society plans to create a sustainable food recovery plan and network, but says a significant amount of work is associated with the project and funds will be required to make the plan a reality.

“It is a dream worth investing in. Many communities that have taken up the challenge of creating a network and plan are diverting thousands of pounds of food a month,” wrote food bank co-ordinator Janet McLean Senft in a letter to the Eagle Valley News.

“From the perspective of environmental sustainability alone this makes sense, feeding hungry people with the diverted food makes it even better.”

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One way the support society already helps provide nutrition to those in need is by maintaining a garden behind its facility on Shuswap Avenue. Support society worker Jennifer Blenkarn said the garden’s produce helps supply the food bank and volunteers are always required to help tend it, especially in the summer.

The letter from the society states it also wants to grow its support for adults with mental health challenges. The focus will be on providing mental health supports for those who struggle to maintain good health, employment and social connections.

The society is currently only able to fund counselling hours for children, youth, parents and caregivers with children under 19 in the home.

“This work is so important, and developing ongoing supports for those who struggle with persistent mental health conditions can mean the difference between floundering and thriving,” said McLean Senft.

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To raise the money necessary to grow its food recovery and mental health service programs, the society will mail notices and drop off flyers or visit houses in the area requesting donations to help fund the planned initiatives.

“Everyone has been in a tough situation or knows someone who has, and we all want to know that if it happened to us, or our loved ones, the supports will be there,” said McLean Senft.

“Give generously. You will feel good, and EVCSS will change lives.”

For more information on the programs or ways to donate call the support society at 250-836-3440.


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