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Okanagan charities receive more PPE from United Way

PPE was distributed to 35 agencies in Vernon, Kelowna and Penticton
Cheryl Hoffman with Food For Thought said the PPE from United Way is helping them continue to serve the community. (Twila Amato - Black Press Media)

Support for charities helping the vulnerable during the pandemic keeps on coming.

United Way of Southern Interior B.C. (UWSIBC) distributed PPE to Okanagan charities for a second time. But this time, they also had distribution centres in Penticton and Vernon in addition to the one in Kelowna.

This time, 17 organizations received supplies in Kelowna. In total, United Way supplied PPE to 35 charities throughout the Okanagan.

United Way’s marketing and communications manager Marianne Dahl said Friday’s (June 12) was the last one.

“This is because the Emergency Community Support Fund will enable our charity partners to apply for funding to buy PPE, so they can get it on their own and get as much as they need when they need it rather than waiting for us to provide them,” she said.

“This was a stop-gap to allow them to get their emergency needs and then moving forward, the Emergency Community Support Fund which is federally funded will help us supply our partners with a grant so they can purchase their own PPE.”

Food For Thought project coordinator Cheryl Hoffman said the supplies from United Way are instrumental in helping them continue to serve the community.

“We’ve kept our group very very small since COVID-19 broke out. We have a small but fierce army making food packages. We’re now going into our twelfth week of making food packages for children that are at risk of food insecurity so this PPE has made all the difference in our ability to work safely and for everyone to be comfortable,” she said.

Food For Thought usually runs a breakfast program as well as a weekend backpack program for students in School District 23. But as the pandemic closed down schools, the group combined the two programs.

“Now, we’re using school trucks to deliver food to each school. We’re delivering food to 30 schools throughout West Kelowna, Kelowna and Lake Country. This way, a student, parent or guardian can easily walk or drive to the local school to pick up their food package.”

“A lot of people don’t have the means or vehicles to go to food banks and this has just made all the difference for them.”

For more information on Food For Thought, visit their website.

READ: United Way provides PPE to Okanagan charities

Twila Amato
Video journalist, Black Press Okanagan
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Twila Amato

About the Author: Twila Amato

Twila was a radio reporter based in northern Vancouver Island. She won the Jack Webster Student Journalism Award while at BCIT and received a degree in ancient and modern Greek history from McGill University.
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