Cherryville Food & Resources Foodbank News ECHO Presentation – Rural Approach to Compassionate Communities

ECHO Presentation – Rural Approach to Compassionate Communities

Check out this YouTube video presented by Meghan Derkach, Executive Director at Cherryville Community Food and Resource Society.

(1318) A Rural Approach to the Compassionate Community Model – YouTube

Bio: My name is Meghan Derkach, and I was born and raised in a rural community called Cherryville. I have always been an advocate for social justice and equity since a young age. When I was 18, I was having lunch with a group of older adults who were sharing their frustrations about having to leave the Cherryville community because there weren’t enough resources for them to live independently and I remember feeling absolutely broken hearted about it. That was the moment I realized I wanted to support Cherryville aging and pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work with a Concentration in Aging. I was drawn to the aging-in-place model, community development and looked to age-friendly community literature. However, being rural has its unique challenges and many of the “making an age friendly community” infrastructure wasn’t relatable. Working with older adults I soon came to realize you cannot support aging-in-place without addressing access to health care as they are overlapping systems. I then pursued a Health-Focused Master’s in Social Work through University of Waterloo to better understand the complexity behind health care and how to better support rural aging in place.  During this time, I was volunteering at Cherryville Food Bank and started expanding its reach to include resources and services to all residents. In 2021 I assumed the Executive Director position after strengthening our organizational and financial health and obtaining multiple grants. 2021 we officially changed our name to include resources as we expanded our vision and mission to meet the needs of all rural residents. Fast forward to 2024, we have implemented a range of services and resources to support rural living for youth, low-income families, persons living with disabilities, older adults, and a variety of community engagement events. In early January, we started to focus on Cherryville residents who had complex health conditions and or living with life limiting illness to advocate for better access to health care within community. These conversations led us to BC Centre for Palliative Care Seed Grant as the Compassionate Community model aligned perfectly with our growing vision and mission. I am excited to share a little more about this grant and how it has unfolded in the Cherryville community.

Related Post

New Freezer Door!New Freezer Door!

Thanks to Food Banks Canada, we now have a freezer safe door installed to safely store all of our perishable items. Our freezer has on average 1500-3000lbs of frozen food that is distributed to Cherryville residents through monthly hampers and food security programs. We are so grateful to have this new door installed because we no longer have to worry about losing any perishable items due to inadequate equipment. Thank you again Food Banks Canada, we are absolutely thrilled with our new door!

CODEanagan Bootcamp for Youth (15-25)CODEanagan Bootcamp for Youth (15-25)

Hi everyone!

United Way of S0uthern Interior BC has upcoming bootcamps for youth 15-25 to learn more about programming and IT. Check out the details below and share with anyone who may be interested – it is completely free to register!

April 13th & 14th – 4.30-7.30pmCrack the Code : explore modern web programming with the very cool Nathan, and by the end you’ll understand such things as HTML, CSS, JavaScript & NodeJS !

April 20th & 21st – 4.30-7.30pmSurviving & Thriving…in a Tech Driven World : have fun exploring the fundamentals of I.T., computers, and internetworking… with the incredibly entertaining Troy. From a zero base you’ll discover network management, computer systems administration, and computer and internet security…. in amongst a bunch of other career skills needed for entry level IT jobs.

Both Bootcamps will be via Zoom and will involve plenty of hands-on activities, opportunities to get to know others while learning…. and I promise you, nothing at all that will send you to sleep!!

These are 2 seriously fun instructors & 2 great sessions PLUS free pizza dinner & cool awards for completing the workshop (last time was STEAM Gift Cards but you get to vote on what you’d like this time!). And truly ZERO previous tech genius is required. All that you’ll need is a desk top computer or laptop, a reasonable wifi connection….and you don’t even need to leave your house unless you want to! There will also be young, fun coaches already in the tech industry at both sessions too, to assist anyone who need a little one-on-one support or encouragement in a virtual breakout room anytime.

If you are anywhere in the 15-25 age group you are IN….. but in these Covid times we are being super flexible on age eligibility, so please reach out if you are outside that age range but want to participate anyway. FREE Registration for both workshops is now open at www.codeanagan.com

National Indigenous History MonthNational Indigenous History Month

June is the designated month for celebrating First Nations, Metis, and Inuit peoples heritage, culture and accomplishments and Cherryville Community Food & Resources wants to create space to recognize this rich history especially today, June 21st as it is the 25th anniversary of National Indigenous Peoples Day.

First, we want to remember the 215 children recently found at Kamloops Residential School and we stand in solidarity with Indigenous families and communities who are mourning these losses as well as many others, who are residential school survivors, and who continue to be impacted today by the appalling role of colonialism. With the slow, incremental progress the Canadian government has made toward implementing the 94 calls to action in the Truth and Reconciliation act, non-Indigenous people must stand with Canada’s Indigenous populations and demand for real progress to transpire.

We will be putting orange ribbons in our hamper distributions for the next few months to bring awareness about Orange Shirt Day, a commemorative day for “over 150,000 Indigenous children [who] attended residential schools in Canada from the late 1800’s until…[1996 where]…it’s estimated that over 5,000 died while under residential school care. Now is the time to listen to the stories of survivors and their families and learn from them, so that these mistakes are not repeated. It is a time for conversations about understanding the survivors’ truths and beginning the journey toward reconciliation. Now is the time for an exploration of opportunities to do better for generations of children to come” (BC Achievement Association, 2021). For more information on the meaning behind Orange Shirt Day visit:

https://www.bcachievement.com/2020/09/29/every-child-matters-the-meaning-behind-orange-shirt-day/

https://www.orangeshirtday.org/about-us.html

Cherryville resides on the unceded territory of the Syilx tmixw (Okanagan). https://native-land.ca/maps/territories/okanagan/

“The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) was formed in 1981 as the inaugural First Nations government in the Okanagan which represents the 8 member communities including; Okanagan Indian Band, Upper Nicola Band, Westbank First Nation, Penticton Indian Band, Osoyoos Indian Band and Lower and Upper Similkameen Indian Bands and the Colville Confederated Tribes on areas of common concern. Each community is represented through the Chiefs Executive Council (CEC) by their Chief or Chairman.

The Syilx/Okanagan people still affirm the land is theirs, as no treaty has been negotiated” syilx.org

How non-Indigenous people can fight colonialism and become allies to our Indigenous communities (as cited by On Canada Project)

“Settlers Take Action

Step 1: Find out whose traditional territory you live on. Visit native-land.ca

Step 2: Click on the links of the territories from native-land.ca and learn more about the original caretakers of the land you now inhabit, their history and the current issues that affect their communities.

Step 3: Read about the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada and its 94 Calls to Action.

Step 4: Email your MP. Tell them you care about the Indigenous people of Canada and want to see action taken to reconcile with them, as described in the Truth and Reconciliation Report. Ask for an update on what they are personally doing to take action. Hold them accountable.” https://oncanadaproject.ca/settlerstakeaction

Support Indigenous Businesses

Shop First Nations is a website that has compiled Indigenous Business across the nation. You can search by province and sub category including: health & beauty, food & beverage, retail, art & entertainment, professionals, construction, attractions, hospitality, legal services and more. For BC specific, check out this website: https://shopfirstnations.com/locations/canada/british-columbia/  

Local Resources and Supports

Vernon Friendship Centre: an Indigenous non-profit affiliated with the BC Association of Friendship Centres, providing culturally appropriate health/social programs and services for the North Okanagan community. Check out their website at http://www.vernonfirstnationsfriendshipcentre.com/  or, call: (250)-542-1247.

First Nations Health Authority: the first and only provincial First Nations Health Authority in Canada, working to transform and reform the way health care is delivered to BC First Nations. There are a variety of resources, supports, and services available to BC First Nations listed at https://www.fnha.ca/  For more information specific to the Interior Region, please contact: interior.region@fnha.ca or call:​ 1-877-440-1140 (toll-free)​

For more information about available health benefits including dental, medical supplies and equipment, medical transportation, mental health, pharmacy, and vision, the Interior Region contact is Joyce Kenoras – Phone: 250-318-6634

Final Message

In light of National Indigenous History Month, we interviewed Kathi Shields, a 14 year resident of Cherryville who identifies as Métis. We asked her if she would like to present a message of encouragement to Indigenous and non-Indigenous people living in Cherryville and this was her response:

And, “I am very grateful to be living in Cherryville on Okanagan territory”.