Residents of the Cowichan Lake area are invited to connect with their neighbours on Jan. 14, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., for a community lunch and pop-up Free Store event at the Lake Cowichan 50+ Activity Centre.
The Movin’ On Up Cowichan Lake Poverty Reduction working group will host this Neighbour to Neighbour Town Share Event, which is open to all ages, with activities that will include a community chili lunch, a pop-up Free Store, some food giveaways and information about a variety of community services available, as well as resources on emergency preparedness.
“Early January is a tough time for many local families who are struggling to make ends meet after the holidays when limited finances are stretched particularly thin,” said a press release.
The Neighbour to Neighbour Town Share is the first of two community events to share food, fun and community connection while raising awareness about supportive initiatives and services available in the Cowichan Lake community for residents in need.
This event is one of many actions being organized by members of the working group from various organizations as well as Lake Cowichan’s town council following the development of the Movin’ On Up Poverty Reduction Strategy that was adopted in 2021.
One of the main goals of the plan is to reduce the stigma and discrimination people often feel when living in poverty and accessing services, to build community and find ways for everyone to take action to support their neighbours.
Donations can be dropped off at the Lake Cowichan 50+ Activity Centre, located at 55 Coronation St., on Jan. 12 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., and on Jan. 13 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Items in need include gently used, clean clothing for all ages (indoor and outdoor) and useful household items that are still in good working condition such as small appliances and cookware, linens including sheets and towels, sporting goods and toys.
People are asked to avoid donating trinkets, knick knacks or items that require repair.
The Movin’ On Up Cowichan Lake Poverty Reduction Working Group was established in the fall of 2020 to develop a strategy for reducing poverty in the Cowichan Lake area through Stream 1 funds from the Union of BC Municipalities and the provincial government.
The working group includes representatives from community service organizations, including Cowichan Lake Community Services, the Lake Cowichan Food Bank Society, Our Cowichan Health Network, Cowichan Lake District Chamber of Commerce, local staff from the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, peers with lived experience, Lake Cowichan council members and community members.
Lake Cowichan successfully received Stream 2 funding in June, 2022, to implement actions from the Cowichan Lake Poverty Reduction Strategy and is working in collaboration with Social Planning Cowichan and working group members to complete the grant funded actions.
The strategy can be found at https://www.movinonupcowichanlake.ca/strategy.
If you would like more information or to volunteer or support the community event, please reach out by email to email@example.com.