Sun Peaks Community Helps continues supporting residents impacted by COVID-19 and planning for the possibility of a challenging fall

The food cupboard is located in Peaks West at 1240 Alpine Road. Photo SPIN

Founded by locals to support one another during the pandemic, Sun Peaks Community Helps (SPCH) has raised over $40,000 for community support, stocked non-perishable food items, and volunteered countless hours of time.

Forty thousand dollars raised by SPCH in a matter of weeks this spring will be used to support residents after COVID-19 caused an unexpected shutdown of the village and resulted in a number of temporary and permanent layoffs.

The SPCH’s community cupboard project received monetary donations as well as non-perishable items so residents could keep their pantries stocked. The cupboard is accessed by appointment only in an effort to ensure physical distancing and that the food is appropriate for diets and allergies.

While the number of people accessing the support has dwindled in recent months, SPCH said it will stay available as it’s possible the fall and winter may bring more hardship to residents due to a predicted second wave of the pandemic.

Remaining funds have yet to be dedicated to a specific use.

“Residents’ needs will continue to be monitored throughout the pandemic so that the SPCH can reevaluate the best use for the money that was raised,” said municipal councillor and member of the SPCH organizing committee Robert O’Toole in an email. “Once those needs are met, donors will also be contacted to help decide what the best use of the remaining money should be.

“Early on there was more use as a number of residents were waiting on Canadian Emergency Response Benefit (CERB) and other government income and the cupboard filled the gap. We also provided a phone…(236-833-0550) which had some use. The goal of that was to help direct people to various wellness services that are available at the provincial level.”

Currently federal CERB assistance is scheduled to be available until Oct. 3, 2020.

Other initiatives  SPCH helped with are providing residents and front line workers with hand sewn face masks to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 with the help of local sewists. The committee also helped those in need of short-term accommodation through the generosity of local property owners.

“It’s been a positive experience for all of us. Seeing the generosity of our friends and neighbours has been impactful,” wrote O’Toole.

To donate to the SPCH or find out about their other community initiatives, visit their website.

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