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Be-An-Angel-2022

Be An Angel: Food bank helping Kelowna residents starting new families

Helping new families

Castanet is proud to partner with the Central Okanagan Food Bank on their 27th annual 'Be An Angel' campaign. This month, we will be sharing the stories of local residents helped by the organization.

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Jake and Jordan are high school sweethearts who have experienced both beautiful and heartbreaking moments together. The couple has never been afraid of hard work and always loved a good adventure, which is how they’ve experienced working physical labor jobs in almost every province and territory within Canada. Unfortunately, when Jake’s father fell ill, they immediately packed up to be with him in New Brunswick. Shortly after Jake’s father passed, the couple found out they were expecting their first child, which led them to Kelowna to be closer to Jordan’s parents.

When Jordan eventually took maternity leave, the expecting parents were faced with food insecurity for the first time in their lives. Accepting their financial position and asking for assistance with food was extremely difficult for them because they were always able to support themselves.

Jake and Jordan’s son is now 3-years old, and they are forever grateful for everything the food bank has done for them. In addition to receiving a monthly food hamper, they had the opportunity to be sponsored by a family for Christmas 2021. The devoted parents wanted to ensure they could create a magical Christmas for their child thanks to their sponsor family. Jake is now in trades school and expects that they won't need the assistance of the food bank much longer, which will allow someone in a more vulnerable position to take their spot.

You can Be an Angel three ways:

  • Donate online at www.cofoodbank.com/BeAnAngel
  • Call the Central Okanagan Food Bank at 250-763-7161 to donate by credit card, or
  • Drop by the Central Okanagan Food Bank office 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday to donate by cash, cheque, debit, or credit card?

Donations are accepted Dec 1st until Dec 31st. The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation will match all individual donations by 20% (excluding corporate, foundations and estate gifts) up to a maximum.?



Be An Angel: Food bank helping Kelowna families get back on feet

Helping young families

Castanet is proud to partner with the Central Okanagan Food Bank on their 27th annual 'Be An Angel' campaign. This month, we will be sharing the stories of local residents helped by the organization.

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Amy and Mitch are two loving parents to a big family. Having met in Toronto, they eventually decided to move to the Okanagan to raise their family. The family’s first experience using the Central Okanagan Food Bank’s services was when they had their first son, who is now 13 years old. At the time, having this resource available meant the world to them as new parents. Eventually, they became financially stable and no longer required food assistance.

However, many years later Mitch suffered a workplace accident that left him unable to provide for his family while he waited for surgery. In July 2020 he was informed with the unfortunate news that the surgery list he was on grew to a five year wait because of Covid’s impact on the health care system. This news was devastating to the family, who were patiently waiting for Mitch to resume his position as the financial contributor for the family.

Amy will typically pick up her family’s hamper and has since gotten to know many of the staff, volunteers, and even other clients of the food bank. Regardless of how small these interactions are, it makes her day when she can connect with welcoming and kind individuals. As a vegetarian, she appreciates the effort and thought that goes into crafting the hampers of people with dietary needs or restrictions. Every time she collects her hamper, she looks forward to making a big pot of soup with vegetables she wouldn’t normally be able to purchase at a grocery store, like squash, kale, or cabbage.

You can Be an Angel three ways:

  • Donate online at www.cofoodbank.com/BeAnAngel
  • Call the Central Okanagan Food Bank at 250-763-7161 to donate by credit card, or
  • Drop by the Central Okanagan Food Bank office 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday to donate by cash, cheque, debit, or credit card

Donations are accepted Dec 1st until Dec 31st. The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation will match 20% of all individual donations (excluding corporate, foundations and estate gifts) up to a maximum.



Be An Angel: Food bank helping Kelowna residents through challenging times

Helping through dark times

Castanet is proud to partner with the Central Okanagan Food Bank on their 27th annual 'Be An Angel' campaign. This month, we will be sharing the stories of local residents helped by the organization.

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Ever since Elaine was a young child, she had a passion for cooking. This passion stemmed from spending countless hours with her grandmother in the kitchen, connecting over making many classic family recipes. Elaine had a rewarding career in the hospitality industry; she loved bringing people together over a beautiful warm meal.

However, Elaine never pictured herself in the position she is currently faced with. A few years ago, Elaine’s husband unexpectantly passed away, leaving her a widow who was forced to raise her son on a single income. Addiction led her down a dark path, but she eventually gathered the courage to ask for help, which was a brave but extremely difficult feat. Through resilience and self-determination Elaine was able to get healthy.

While residing at the Karis House in Kelowna, she had her first introduction to the food bank. Originally, Elaine was embarrassed about using the food bank, however she can’t imagine not having received the support over the last year while she was in a vulnerable position. Eventually she was diagnosed with Celiac disease, which led to the food bank supplying her with a special dietary needs hamper with all gluten free foods. Elaine is forever grateful for the food bank’s services and is eager to give back in the form of cooking by volunteering at the Kelowna location once the community kitchen is built.

You can Be an Angel three ways:

  • Donate online at www.cofoodbank.com/BeAnAngel
  • Call the Central Okanagan Food Bank at 250-763-7161 to donate by credit card, or
  • Drop by the Central Okanagan Food Bank office 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday to donate by cash, cheque, debit, or credit card

Donations are accepted Dec 1st until Dec 31st. The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation will match all individual donations by 20% (excluding corporate, foundations and estate gifts) up to a maximum.



Be An Angel: Food bank helping new Canadians in Kelowna

Helping new Canadians

Castanet is proud to partner with the Central Okanagan Food Bank on their 27th annual 'Be An Angel' campaign. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing the stories of local residents helped by the organization.

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Daniel and his family are relatively new to Canada. Daniel arrived in the Okanagan on a work permit in 2019 and quickly realized how much opportunity was available here. Eventually he was able to sponsor his family, moving them from Jamaica to West Kelowna.

Once the family of five was reunited in Canada, it quickly became apparent that they needed a bigger living space for everyone to live comfortably. They traded Daniel’s one-bedroom apartment in for a more suitable option but with that came substantially more expensive rent, resulting in them being unable to afford food. Daniel reached out to the food bank for assistance and is grateful for the kindness him and his family have received.

He acknowledges how impactful the social support of food banks across Canada is, but feels that the Central Okanagan Food Bank does an exceptional job of supporting the needs of people in this community, especially low-income families. The volunteers always go above and beyond to create a warm and welcoming environment for clients. Daniel’s most memorable moment at the food bank is when the family received their first tiny bundle for their new baby. The amount of formula and diapers they received was a huge relief for the struggling family.

Although rebuilding their life in a new country has come with many challenges including food insecurity, they have never once regretted their decision. All the kids are adjusting well and are thrilled to finally experience the snow.

You can Be an Angel three ways:

  • Donate online at www.cofoodbank.com/BeAnAngel
  • Call the Central Okanagan Food Bank at 250-763-7161 to donate by credit card, or
  • Drop by the Central Okanagan Food Bank office 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday to donate by cash, cheque, debit, or credit card

Donations are accepted Dec 1st until Dec 31st. The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation will match all individual donations by 20% (excluding corporate, foundations and estate gifts) up to a maximum.



Be An Angel: Food bank helping families build a future

Helping build a future

Castanet is proud to partner with the Central Okanagan Food Bank on their 27th annual 'Be An Angel' campaign. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing the stories of local residents helped by the organization.

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Sarah and her family have been using the Central Okanagan Food Bank’s services sporadically over the last four years. The family has overcome unimaginable circumstances, but it wasn’t easy. Years ago, Sarah was in a severe car accident that killed her youngest son at the time. Naturally, this tragedy took a toll on the family, particularly Sarah who resorted to coping in unhealthy ways.

Ten years later, Sarah and her partner, Mike, were wonderfully shocked to find out they were pregnant again. In order to heal from the past, they decided to uproot the family to Kelowna to be closer to their parents. The family of soon to be five knew that the cost of living would be higher in British Columbia, but once they arrived it was more than they expected.

During the first few months of Sarah’s family being in Kelowna they only needed support from the food bank once or twice. However, in the weeks leading up to the pandemic, Sarah took maternity leave, and Mike started a welding apprenticeship with BCIT. Although Sarah and Mike were working towards building a future where they could fully support their family, they found themselves in the immediate position of not being able to afford food.

While Mike has been in school, they have relied on the monthly hamper that the COFB provides to them. Sarah works hard to meal prep with the food from her hamper by creating freezer meals, soups and fresh juice. If there are every any extras, she always shares with her parents who are semi-retired seniors. Her family wants to express their gratitude to everyone who contributes to making this program possible.

You can Be an Angel three ways:

  • Donate online at www.cofoodbank.com/BeAnAngel
  • Call the Central Okanagan Food Bank at 250-763-7161 to donate by credit card, or
  • Drop by the Central Okanagan Food Bank office 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday to donate by cash, cheque, debit, or credit card

Donations are accepted Dec 1st until Dec 31st. The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation will match all individual donations by 20 % (excluding corporate, foundations and estate gifts) up to a maximum.



Be An Angel: Food bank helping parents provide positive childhoods

Providing a warm childhood

Castanet is proud to partner with the Central Okanagan Food Bank on their 27th annual 'Be An Angel' campaign. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing the stories of local residents helped by the organization.

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Corey has been a client of the Central Okanagan Food Bank sporadically since 2017. Over the last few years, he has built a humble life with his fiancé and young daughter. However, growing up Corey’s life looked very different than it does today.

Corey was forced to raise himself throughout the course of his childhood and youth as his father left the family when Corey was young, and his mother suffered from serious mental illness. After living in a perpetually negative environment and suffering from a lack of emotional support and encouragement from his parents, Corey went down a dark path.

Once Corey hit his early 20’s he decided he wanted to pursue a happier and healthier lifestyle. On his pursuit to happiness, he found art. Creating art can be a beautiful healing tool and it eventually led him to meet his now fiancé. The couple both work multiple part time jobs to make ends meet but hope to one day own an art studio of their own.

Since the cost of living has drastically increased, Corey can no longer afford a car and uses Kelowna Transit to collect the family’s groceries from across town. A health condition has made it so he cannot properly process red meat, but the staff and volunteers always ensure that his hamper is created to meet his health needs. With the help of the Central Okanagan Food Bank, Corey can give his daughter the warm and positive childhood he never had.

You can Be an Angel three ways:

  • Donate online at www.cofoodbank.com/BeAnAngel
  • Call the Central Okanagan Food Bank at 250-763-7161 to donate by credit card, or
  • Drop by the Central Okanagan Food Bank office 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday to donate by cash, cheque, debit, or credit card

Donations are accepted Dec 1st until Dec 31st. The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation will match all individual donations by 20% (excluding corporate, foundations and estate gifts) up to a maximum.



Be an Angel: Clients also volunteer at Central Okanagan Food Bank

More than just a client

Castanet is proud to partner with the Central Okanagan Food Bank on their 27th annual 'Be An Angel' campaign. Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing the stories of local residents helped by the organization.

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Lynda is not only a client of the food bank but also a dedicated volunteer. Although she was born in Toronto, she has lived all over Canada. A colorful career in jazz music eventually led her to Vancouver. Her careers in the arts were nothing short of fulfilling but they didn’t always make ends meet. Over time Vancouver slowly became unaffordable and six years ago she had the opportunity to move to Kelowna into low-income housing.

Lynda was grateful to acquire affordable housing, but she found the transition to Kelowna incredibly lonely; having missed the culture and inclusion that Vancouver had to offer and not to mention leaving her close friends behind. She decided to volunteer at the Food Bank to contribute within her new community and potentially form meaningful new relationships. As the cost of food and living increased during the pandemic, Lynda quickly also became a client of the food bank. Without her monthly hamper, it would be impossible for her to afford groceries at the current prices.

Lynda has been a dedicated volunteer for three and a half years and her contribution to the food bank is greatly appreciated. Her positivity is infectious and always manages to leave a smile on your face. Lynda loves volunteering because of how kind, helpful and cheerful the staff and other volunteers are – she looks forward to volunteering for years to come.

You can Be an Angel three ways:

  • Donate online at www.cofoodbank.com/BeAnAngel
  • Call the Central Okanagan Food Bank at 250-763-7161 to donate by credit card, or
  • Drop by the Central Okanagan Food Bank office 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday to donate by cash, cheque, debit, or credit card

Donations are accepted Dec 1 until Dec 31. The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation will match all individual donations by 20% (excluding corporate, foundations and estate gifts) up to a maximum.



Be an Angel: Central Okanagan Food bank helping a survivor get by

Definition of a survivor

Castanet is proud to partner with the Central Okanagan Food Bank on their 27th annual 'Be An Angel' campaign. Over the next month, we will be sharing the stories of local residents helped by the organization.

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Natasha is the definition of a survivor, in more ways than one. When she was pregnant with her son, she was diagnosed with throat cancer. At a time that was meant to be one of the most exciting moments of her life, she found it difficult to celebrate and not be fearful of her and her unborn child’s future. Fortunately for Natasha, she was able to have immediate surgery to have the cancer removed without complications, but this wouldn’t be the only time she beat the disease as it would come back again years later.

Eventually she gave birth to a beautiful and healthy baby boy. She enjoyed motherhood and was grateful to celebrate life with her family. However, not long after her son was born, the relationship with her partner changed and she began to experience both mental and physical abuse. To protect herself and her son, she relocated to West Kelowna. Being a single parent has proven to be extremely challenging in today’s economic landscape. She struggles to find balance between obtaining full-time work and securing affordable childcare.

Although it breaks Natasha’s heart to be away from her family, the volunteers at the COFB in West Kelowna make her feel like family. She has grown a true appreciation for the people that volunteer their time to help others and hopes to be in the position to give back one day. The one thing Natasha is most grateful for is knowing that her now 6-year-old son has food in the cupboards and snacks to enjoy.

Natasha wants anyone who is facing food insecurity to know that you don’t have to struggle - there is no shame in needing the food bank’s services and if you don’t feel comfortable asking for yourself, do it so your kids don’t have to go hungry.

You can Be an Angel three ways:???

  • Donate online at www.cofoodbank.com/BeAnAngel??
  • Call the Central Okanagan Food Bank at 250-763-7161 to donate by credit card, or??
  • Drop by the Central Okanagan Food Bank office 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday to donate by cash, cheque, debit, or credit card

Donations are accepted Dec 1st until Dec 31st. The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation will match all individual donations by 20% (excluding corporate, foundations and estate gifts) up to a maximum.



Be An Angel: Young family grateful for support

Family grateful for support

Castanet is proud to partner with the Central Okanagan Food Bank on their 27th annual 'Be An Angel' campaign. Over the next month, we will be sharing the stories of local residents helped by the organization.

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Cassy and her family have only been clients of the Central Okanagan Food Bank for 4 months. When Cassy and her partner found out they were expecting, they knew they would have to leave their rural home for a bigger town, where they could have proper access to health care providers. But once they came to Kelowna and saw how beautiful it was, they decided to stay.

Cassy and her partner Danny are now a blended family of 8, with children ranging from 15-years of age to 4 months. The newest addition to the family is a baby girl named Melanie, who has four older brothers that help look after her. As soon as these two families became one, the grocery bill simply became too much to keep up with, which was when they reached out to the food bank.

Once a week Cassy loads Melanie into her stroller so they can take city transit to the food bank for collection of their Tiny Bundle, and again for her monthly hamper. Her most memorable moment at the food bank thus far is when another client offered to give her a ride home after overhearing how Cassy needed to wait for the bus, leaving her speechless at the amount of kindness a stranger showed her.

Cassy would like to extend a heartfelt thank-you to all the volunteers, staff, and donors that contribute to the food bank and ensure that the community is nourished. It’s hard for Cassy to put into words how much the food bank has helped her family want she wants people to know they are grateful.


You can Be an Angel three ways:

  • Donate online at www.cofoodbank.com/BeAnAngel
  • Call the Central Okanagan Food Bank at 250-763-7161 to donate by credit card, or
  • Drop by the Central Okanagan Food Bank office 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday to donate by cash, cheque, debit, or credit card

Donations are accepted Dec 1st until Dec 31st. The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation will match all individual donations by 20% (excluding corporate, foundations and estate gifts) up to a maximum.



Be An Angel: Food bank bringing peace of mind in stressful times

Bringing peace of mind

Castanet is proud to partner with the Central Okanagan Food Bank on their 27th annual 'Be An Angel' campaign. Over the next month, we will be sharing the stories of local residents helped by the organization.

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Faith has always highly valued education, which is why she and her husband, Sam, chose to immigrate to Canada four years ago so she could finish her post-secondary education. They resided in Vancouver until Faith graduated, but quickly sought out a more affordable community. Eventually, they settled in Kelowna just weeks before the pandemic was announced, and five months before their first child would be born.

Building a new life in the Okanagan proved to be difficult, especially during the early days of the pandemic when jobs were scarce and work hours reduced. The new parents were faced with the difficult decision of paying rent and a vehicle or putting food on the table. One of Sam’s coworkers recognized the family’s struggles and encouraged them to visit the Central Okanagan Food Bank.

Having welcomed their second child in March 2022, the family participates in the Tiny Bundles Program which supports new and expecting mothers with additional weekly nutritional supplements on top of their monthly hamper. This includes fresh fruit and vegetables, milk, eggs, and cheese. Once the baby arrives clients are provided with diapers, wipes, baby food and formula.

Faith and Sam are extremely grateful for the wonderful experience that they had at the food bank. It’s hard for them to fathom how they would have survived the past two years without the help of the food bank. The support they have received has given them peace of mind during stressful times.

You can Be an Angel three ways:

  • Donate online at www.cofoodbank.com/BeAnAngel
  • Call the Central Okanagan Food Bank at 250-763-7161 to donate by credit card, or
  • Drop by the Central Okanagan Food Bank office 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday to donate by cash, cheque, debit, or credit card

Donations are accepted Dec 1st until Dec 31st. The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation will match all individual donations by 20% (excluding corporate, foundations and estate gifts) up to a maximum.



Be An Angel: Life changing support provided by Central Okanagan Food Bank

Life changing support

Castanet is proud to partner with the Central Okanagan Food Bank on their 27th annual 'Be An Angel' campaign. Over the next month, we will be sharing the stories of local residents helped by the organization.

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Crystal has been utilizing the Central Okanagan Food Bank’s services for a little over a year, and it has quickly become life changing for her. Crystal is a single senior who currently resides an hour outside of Kelowna. When asked, Crystal expressed that she never expected to be in the situation she is currently faced with.

Many years ago, she ran a successful bookkeeping business out of West Kelowna. However, after experiencing a devastating car crash that left her needing multiples surgeries and developing crippling arthritis, she was forced to close her business. Her and her husband decided to sell their home and retire peacefully on a rural property. Unfortunately, the retirement they imagined and deserved didn’t pan out as expected. Eight years ago, Crystal’s husband was diagnosed with leukemia and shortly after succumbed to the illness.

Since her husband’s passing, Crystal has found it difficult to get by both emotionally and financially. As inflation has skyrocketed over the last year, affording nutritious food has been out of reach for her. Crystal’s health suffered because of this, resulting in her developing a GI infection and needing medical attention at Kelowna General Hospital. Through the doctor’s recommendation, it led her to inquire about the Central Okanagan Food Bank. Crystal now participates in the vitality hamper program which ensures seniors, households with children, and people living with health conditions are provided with the balanced essential nutrients they require to stay strong and nourished. Her hamper is the difference between her living off toast and tea to avoid debilitating hunger. Crystal cannot put into words how grateful she is to everyone that contributes to COFB organization including the donors, volunteers, and staff.

You can Be an Angel three ways:

  • Donate online at www.cofoodbank.com/BeAnAngel
  • Call the Central Okanagan Food Bank at 250-763-7161 to donate by credit card, or
  • Drop by the Central Okanagan Food Bank office 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday to donate by cash, cheque, debit, or credit card

Donations are accepted Dec 1st until Dec 31st. The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation will match all individual donations by 20% (excluding corporate, foundations and estate gifts) up to a maximum.



27th annual 'Be An Angel' campaign launches for Central Okanagan Food Bank

'Be An Angel' kicks off

The excitement around the launch of the 27th annual Be An Angel Campaign has proven one thing; Giving Is Contagious. At the Central Okanagan Food Bank (COFB) we have the privilege to partner once again with the Thomas Alan Budd Foundation who is inspired to give by witnessing the generosity of others and will continue to match 20% of all individual donations to the notable, and successful campaign starting December 1st.

The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation has contributed close to $500,000 over the past 16 years. “I remember the first time I read the stories of less fortunate families during the holiday season, pushed to the edge of their abilities based on their income, I instantly felt connected to the cause and wanted to help any way I could,” says Tom Budd.

Stories of people who utilize the food bank will be featured to highlight the impact of the help they have received from the Kelowna and West Kelowna food banks. The clients of COFB are someone’s parents, grandparents, children, friends, or neighbours, who just need a little extra support to thrive. They’ve offered to share their story because of the immense amount of gratitude they have for the services they’re provided with from the food bank but also to encourage others to seek support if they need it.

Skyrocketing inflation and the increased cost of living has proven difficult for people struggling to make ends meet. “Majority of new clients we serve are people who can no longer afford their basic needs, such as low wage earners, students pursuing a post-secondary education, or people who depend on a fixed income to survive”, says Trina Speiser, director of development for COFB. “Since the New Year, we have witnessed a 25% increase in people accessing the food bank’s services.” The food bank is projecting the need for 3,250 Holiday Hampers to be distributed in the month of December.

“My goal in philanthropy is to advance the position of those in need and I know that giving can create a ripple effect. It brings me great joy to increase the impact based on donors who feel a strong, emotional connection with what the food bank is trying to achieve. People benefit from kindness, so it’s important to join with others to foster the spirit and strength of generosity throughout our community,” notes Tom Budd

You can Be an Angel three ways:

  • Donate online at www.cofoodbank.com/BeAnAngel
  • Call the Central Okanagan Food Bank at 250-763-7161 to donate by credit card, or
  • Drop by the COFB office 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday to Friday to donate by cash, cheque, debit, or credit card

Donations are accepted Dec 1 until Dec 31. The Thomas Alan Budd Foundation will match all individual donations (excluding corporate, foundations and estate gifts) up to a maximum. All contributors of $20 or more will receive a tax receipt.



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