Cherryville Food & Resources Foodbank News Thank You to The Colin & Lois Pritchard Foundation

Thank You to The Colin & Lois Pritchard Foundation

We are beyond grateful to the continuous generosity afforded to Cherryville Community Food & Resource Society by The Colin & Lois Pritchard Foundation. We have been absolutely blessed by this foundation and their extraordinary giving hearts! Thank You from all of us at the Cherryville Resource Society.

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ECHO Presentation – Rural Approach to Compassionate CommunitiesECHO 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.

Christmas Hampers EventChristmas Hampers Event

The Cherryville community may be small in numbers, but it is BIG in giving!

Every year we have tons of supporters who make this day possible, starting at 6:00 in the morning and ending around 10:00 at night, families and individuals are given Christmas Hampers and Gifts. What initially started as a very small community service in 1971, this was the foundation that the Cherryville Community Food Bank Society started on…49 years ago, wow! It has flourished into a beautiful community building event where we support one another and ensure our people are taken care of during the holiday season.

Thank you to all the volunteers that support us each and every year, to donors who give so generously, and every person, group, and organization who make this service a possibility.

Behind the scenes in Food Bank Building, getting organized!

Volunteers from all ages, kids to seniors, giving back to our community together!