“The generosity of community members who continue to donate to the Fill the Gap Food Program is invaluable to the families that benefit from it.” – NOYFSS Counsellor
“Food security exists when all people have sufficient, safe and nutritious food for an active and healthy life,” reads a statement from the BC Government’s webpage about food security. “Healthy food needs to be available and accessible so people can make healthy food choices.”
For hundreds of individuals, seniors and families in our community experiencing severe food insecurity, making healthy food choices isn’t an option. These people make difficult choices like skipping a meal to feed their child or buying cheap instant meals like Kraft Dinner so they can purchase gas to get to work or pay for utilities.
Community Foundation North Okanagan (CFNO) is engaging in charitable partnerships to make healthy food available to those who don’t have access to it. CFNO funds the Fill the Gap Food Program, delivered through the Good Food Box Society, and together we have been able to supply over 5000 food baskets to help people manage their food costs without eliminating fresh fruit and vegetables.
“The Fill the Gap Food Program was started in 2020 to offer a boost to those financially impacted by the effects of COVID-19. What we expected to be a short-term program for six months is still going strong three years later,” explains Leanne Hammond, executive director at CFNO.
“Our commitment to help the Good Food Box distribute through approximately 20 service providers has not diminished but coming up with the thousands of dollars each month to fund the program is getting more and more difficult,” she says. “We are in a unique position to help; as a charity, we can provide tax receipts to individuals who want to donate to sponsor boxes for people in need – help us keep this important program going!”
According to North Okanagan Youth and Family Services Society (NOYFSS), the program is essential and would greatly benefit the community if it was permanent.
“There are a lot of interrelated issues going on. Inflation is having a huge impact. The housing crisis is having a huge impact. People are having to choose between affording their rent and buying groceries,” explains Jaime Royston, Program Supervisor of NOYFSS.
Folks increasingly find they have to use funds they should be using for groceries to cover their rent. That leaves them with less money for food.
NOYFSS is one of CFNO’s valued charitable partners delivering the Fill the Gap Food Program. They have a diverse range of programs and services aimed at strengthening healthy family relationships. Their counsellors offer the Fill the Gap food boxes to families that need a boost that month.
“This support is so incredibly valuable for our families. It gives them a momentary reprieve from some of their stresses and provides them with healthy food they might not have the ability to access otherwise. Good Food Box Day is a beautiful day where we get to share so much joy amongst the community.” – Gratitude expressed by a NOYFSS counsellor.
CFNO issues Good Food Box support to our charitable partners once a month, and each of our 20+ charity partners has expressed that they could use more and receive food boxes more often.
Please help us sustain this essential food program! For more information and to donate, please visit www.cfno.org/bettertogetherfund or call