Left: Nicole Hoodicoff, Childhood Connections, Program Coordinator/Middle: Garry Wittich, West Kelowna Daybreak Rotary Club, Director/Right: Stephen Maser, West Kelowna Daybreak Rotary Club, Past President (Photo contributed)

West Kelowna Rotary donates $5K to help food insecure families

The West Kelowna Daybreak Rotary Club gives a big cheque to families suffering during the pandemic

The West Kelowna Daybreak Rotary Club is making a big donation to a program created to reach vulnerable families socially isolated as a result of the pandemic.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Childhood Connections Okanagan Families & Childcare Society started a new program, the Nourish Families Initiative, to reach vulnerable families socially isolated as a result of the pandemic.

A recent $5,000 donation from the West Kelowna Daybreak Rotary Club will allow Childhood Connections to support more families with food security and child development supports.

The program supports families with a weekly visit from a support worker who delivers a locally made meal, fresh bread and produce, and children’s resources such as toys and activity bags. The Rotary Club says it wanted to donate the funds to Childhood Connections because they saw the need in their community to help families with pre-school-aged children not connected to family support groups like they once were before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Before COVID-19, many of these families would have been supported at family resource program drop-in groups, but unfortunately, many of these programs have had to temporarily close their doors respecting the Provincial Health Orders,” explained Melissa Hunt, executive director of Childhood Connections.

“We are concerned that these families aren’t getting checked in on and that their children will not be developing at the appropriate rate. So, this funding from the West Kelowna Daybreak Rotary Club is so vital for us to help staff the program to help us get these families connected to our programs and services, and keep their children’s development on track.”

The Nourish Families Initiative program is funded in part by meals purchased by community members. For every meal purchased by a community member, another meal is generated for a family-in-need. Nourish Families initiative is a small social enterprise, generating business to local restaurants, reducing food-prep and grocery shopping for community families and providing free meals to families who have been hit the hardest by COVID-19.

The program also has a sustainable model that purchasing meals from local restaurants which will go straight to families in need.

To purchase a meal to support the Nourish Families Initiative, click here. Orders must be placed by Tuesdays at 4 p.m. for Thursday dinner deliveries by volunteer drivers.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com

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