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Coronavirus: Dozen Okanagan agencies benefit from funds to help with health crisis

The Penticton Soupateria is one of the 11 recipients of funding to help people impacted by the pandemic. Global News

Nearly a dozen agencies in the Okanagan and Similkameen will be better equipped to help people deal with the COVID-19 crisis after receiving a funding boost.

More than $70,000 has been granted to projects and programs directly dealing with the pandemic thanks to a partnership between the Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen (CFSOS), United Way Southern Interior B.C. (UWSIBC) and Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union.

READ MORE: Survey finds 1 in 4 B.C. non-profits could close due to COVID-19

“Since launching the Community Response Fund partnership in March, we have received a tremendous number of applications for the fund from organizations working with groups who are directly affected by COVID-19 and are doing front line work in the terms of food security, housing, mental health and well-being, and safety,” said Aaron McRann, executive director for CFSOS.

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McRann also said that the foundation has also received applications from organizations, which are facing financial strain from having to shut their doors and a decline in donations.

READ MORE: For some, working from home can cause ‘loneliness, isolation and depressive symptoms’

After an expedited grant review process, the partners have chosen 11 agencies they feel are most in need for immediate funding.

  • Canadian Mental Health Association- SOS
  • Desert Sun Counselling
  • Ooknakane Friendship Centre
  • Penticton Soupateria
  • Pathway’s Addiction Resource Centre
  • Princeton Foodbank
  • Princeton Family Services
  • St. Vincent de Paul Food Bank
  • School District 67- food for school families
  • South Okanagan Immigrant Society
  • Starfish Backpack Program

“During times of dire need and crises, it is more important than ever for us to come together to most effectively meet the needs of the people and communities we serve,” said Kahir Lalji, executive director of United Way SIBC.

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