Over $67,000 was raised over two days for Nourish Cowichan by Juice FM’s second annual radiothon fundraiser.
The station says the donations came from the people and local businesses in the Cowichan Valley, including a $25,000 donation from Island Ford. The fundraiser took place over two days outside Red Arrow Brewing in warm summer weather.
The funding will support Nourish Cowichan, a charity that cooks breakfasts, lunches, and snacks for students of 10 schools within the Cowichan Valley. The organization began after the founders saw many children come to school without having breakfast.
They prepare over 1,600 meals a week for 800 students and that provided a noticeable improvement in students’ focus.
Executive director and chef Fatima Da Silva says these fundraisers are very important as the cost of food continues to rise in the area.
“With the pandemic and the loss of ability to be able to host these events, what Juice FM did by stepping in and helping out has been so amazing in making sure that we start every single year,” said Da Silva.
“It’s so good for us to go without worry, and knowing that things will be okay.”
Da Silva says prior to the pandemic, the amount of money would be enough to cook around 16,000 meals in a year. However, she says this is becoming more difficult with the rising cost of food.
Post-pandemic, it could cost around $600,000 to run the program every year with the rising cost of food and expansion of services.
Da Silva thanks everyone who came out, listened and donated to the event. But she adds these events highlight more than just funding.
“It is more than just the money, it is a community coming together to do what they need to do for every single child that lives in this community and requires that kind of help,” she said. “Doesn’t matter if they’re a child of somebody you don’t know, they are going to grow up to be young adults and citizens of the community.”
She adds every donation shows them the community trusts Nourish to get the job done and support the children.
Donations to Nourish Cowichan can be made online through their website, where you can sign up for monthly donations of varying amounts.
Da Silva adds they need more and more volunteers, such as gardeners, as the organization grows.
Juice FM would like to thank the community for always stepping up and supporting their fundraising efforts.