Today’s Poll


By Contributor
December 9th, 2016

A trio of organizations in Nelson were a few of the 29 projects across the Basin to receive funding through Columbia Basin Trust’s Social Grants.

Early childhood support, community outreach and food security are some of the themes that stand out in the latest list of social sector projects.

The Nelson organizations include Nelson Food Cupboard Society and Nelson Women’s Centre.

The Trust recently approved nearly $1 million in funding for 28 projects that address social well-being in the Basin.
“We are committed to improving the social well-being of Basin residents, and our grant program works with the social sector that brings about these positive changes. It’s really quite remarkable the work that these groups take on and how it contributes to the health of all of our communities,” said Liz Gillis, Columbia Basin Trust Manager, Social Initiatives.
The North Kootenay Lake Community Services Society received approval for their two-year Harvest Share Food Recovery Program which will oversee a wide range of operations enhancing food security in Kaslo and Area D. The society will manage donor relationships, volunteers, the community garden, organize educational events and partner with other organizations to foster food security and support clients to find long-term solutions.
“The folks who most benefit from the Harvest Share Food Recovery Program are residents with limited finances,” said Helen Lutz, executive director of the North Kootenay Lake Community Services Society.

“Our next phase will broaden our work into other segments of the population. We will work with local businesses and farmers around food donation, strengthen residents’ employment skills through food preparation and growing, foster community well-being through shared events and experiences, reduce bear attractants in the Village of Kaslo, and explore options for program sustainability.”
Other successful projects in the West Kootenay region include:

  • In Castlegar: Circle of Indigenous Nations Society – Host a regional conference that will use cultural and therapeutic activities to help men heal from grief, shame, trauma and loss.
  • In Kaslo: Kootenay Lake Independent School – Replace old carpet and sand/varnish remaining wood floors at the Periwinkle Children’s Centre.
  • In Nakusp and New Denver: Burton Community Learning Centre – Support the health and well-being of seniors in the Lower Arrow Lakes through social interaction, physical exercise, health education and brain fitness activities.
  • In Nelson: Nelson Food Cupboard Society – Use community engagement to determine the feasibility and design for four partner organizations to co-locate and create a Community Food Centre.
  • Nelson Women’s Centre – Provide a safe, inclusive, informative, educational, supportive space for all self-identified trans people in Nelson and area.
  • Hospice Society of the Columbia Valley – Provide trauma and suicide bereavement training workshops and help establish support groups. (Invermere, Cranbrook, Nelson)
  • In Slocan: West Kootenay Permaculture Co-op Association – Develop a community focused multipurpose food centre with a teaching kitchen, classroom/dining room and food storage to help build a healthy community and strengthen the local food economy.
  • In Trail: Trail Association for Community Living – Secure safe, healthy homes at an affordable cost for individuals living well below the poverty line.
  • In West Kootenay: Freedom Quest Youth Services Society – Support West Kootenay youth and families impacted by mental health, trauma and substance use in building relationships through activities, social support networks and education.
  • SD 20 Kootenay Columbia – Increase students’ food literacy skills and enhance breakfast programs so that no student starts their school day hungry.

The Trust has distributed more than $5 million to improving social well-being in our communities since starting the social grants program in 2012. The Social Grants Evaluation Committee reviews the applications and makes the granting recommendations.

The Committee is a volunteer group of Basin residents that includes individuals who have experience and expertise in the social sector and individuals who have broader community development experience.

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