Many abused women and children live at or below the poverty level. The South Okanagan Women in Need Society (SOWINS) is aiming to change that with a special project in Penticton; thanks in part to a $5,000 Valley First Community Endowment Grant.
The twelve month program, We Nurture the Nourishing Nature of Women is an innovative curriculum that combines personal growth and food security. It does so by encouraging participants to build self-confidence and empowerment skills through practical learning and food safety basics. Women will learn how to garden, prepare and preserve their produce and stretch their food budget while cooking and eating healthfully.
Last Fall, a group of about 20 women (and their children) met twice monthly and developed relationships that grew as the program evolved. In addition to cooking, they decided what vegetables to grow, tended to the garden through the seasons and harvested, preserved, cooked and ate together.
A celebration planned by the participants brought the project to a joyful close.
“SOWINS is thrilled with the results of the We Nurture the Nourishing Nature of Women project which was funded in part by a Valley First Endowment grant,” said Samarpan Faasse, Fundraising & Public Relations Coordinator, South Okanagan Women in Need Society.
Food security is integral to good health and financial independence and this project will offer many opportunities for women to make lasting change in their lives through community building, empowerment, inclusion and friendship.
“With a strong start this first year, the project will benefit people of the Penticton area for years to come. Many women will continue to garden in containers on their doorsteps; there will be food growing in some public garden spaces and some citizens are interested in learning how to plant integrated food gardens in their neighborhoods,” said Faasse. “A huge thank you to Valley First and your community-mindedness in getting this project in the ground and off the ground!”