Cherryville’s Community Food Bank is moving on up, thanks to the Community Foundation of North Okanagan.
The food bank, currently occupying two eight-by-10 rooms in the basement of the Cherryville Community Hall, is planning a new building in the community, and received a big boost last week with a $25,000 grant from CFNO.
“This building will help us reach our community so much better and it will help with volunteers,” said food bank spokesperson Sharon Harvey. “So many people have asked me if they can help out but with only two eight-by-10 rooms, there’s not a lot of room so I’ve had to turn away volunteers.
“This new building will draw people from our community into our building to help out. I can’t thank the community foundation enough.”
Harvey said her group hopes to have the new building in place for Christmas.
CFNO handed out nearly $100,000 in grants at its Smart and Caring Community 2015 Grants Reception recently at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre to 14 North Okanagan organizations.
“Without the generosity of our donors none of this would happen,” said Janice Mori, board chair of CFNO.
Grants were awarded to groups doing important work to improve the quality of life throughout the North Okanagan Region.
Many people think the focus is on Vernon, but the foundation’s service area includes Vernon, Coldstream, Enderby, Armstrong, Lumby and Spallumcheen.
Two of the largest grants went to the Cherryville Community Food Bank ($25,000) and Enderby Preschool Daycare Society (20,000).
Vernon’s Schubert Centre Society also got a large grant of $15,000 for the Meals on Wheels Program.
“This grant means a great deal to the elderly and others who struggle to prepare a healthy, hot and nutritious meal,” said Jack Gareb of the Schubert Centre. “Appliance upgrades will allow the number of meals prepared to increase exponentially by making the process much more time efficient.”
Other organizations receiving grants included:
n Allan Brooks Nature Centre Society ($5,000 for nature play area);
n Canadian Paraplegic Association/Spinal Cord Injury BC ($2,750 for wheelchair curling initiative);
n Family Resource Centre Society for the North Okanagan ($3,000 for furniture upgrades);
n Hullcar and Deep Creek Hall Society ($1,800 for Hullcar Hall);
n Lumby & District Historical Society ($4,770 for outdoor exhibit area upgrade);
n Okanagan Summer Festival Society ($1,400, community consultations Kalamalka Bowl);
n People Place Society ($2,150, security upgrade);
n Special Olympics BC – Vernon ($4,100, winter sports gear);
n Vernon Full Gospel Tabernacle ($350, Feed The Hungry program);
n Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation ($3,300, Day Break Adult Day Program kitchen reno).
On top of the grants, the foundation awarded another $400,000 in donors’ designated grants and student awards distributed at other times of the year.
“The granting cycle, to which local charities apply annually for project funding, is only one of the ways the community foundation distributes funds to the charitable sector,” said the foundation’s Leanne Hammond. “Between the money going out today (grants) and the money distributed at other times of the year, we are proud to see more than half a million dollars a year going out to our communities’ charitable causes.”
The community foundation had requests totaling over $300,000 for this granting cycle.
The group hopes to be able to fund more of the need in the future by increasing the size of the endowment fund, as well as working collaboratively with donors to encourage more open donations that could be used for the granting cycle.