An organization focused on working with moms, dads and caregivers for resource navigation to help those in need is looking for a location in Penticton to operate as a satellite office, hoping to partner with a local charity.
"There are just a lot less resources available in the South Okanagan for poverty relief in general and our goal in having something in Penticton is so that we have a hub that can be reached all the way out to Grand Forks, Apex, Osoyoos,” Shannon Christensen, the founder and CEO of Mamas for Mamas said.
“Mamas for Mamas is an awesome online community and we've noticed over the course of COVID that's there's such a high need for food security support, clothing, just basic necessities, and not all of that is always available peer to peer on the group."
Christensen, along with Crystal Boros, the Penticton branch coordinator, have been talking about taking their roots beyond Kelowna as an actual in-person agency, developing direct relief closer to the communities out in the South Okanagan.
“We know that there's a huge need in Penticton, but it's also beyond that.”
The group is hoping to find a brick-and-mortar store to help provide access to resources and even provide food and fresh produce, rather than just operating online.
“We just don't go and rent out a space right away when we're moving into a new community, we like to work with other non-profits and make sure we are filling gaps and complimenting the services that are already available,” Shannon explained.
“It's about ensuring that we are filling the gaps rather than duplicating the efforts.”
They also want to ensure women in the community know how to access existing resources like the food bank and SOWINS.
“Our goal is really to work with another non-profit in the area, to use a small little bit of their space for another food pantry, a drop-off and pick up location and a formal office.”
They are looking for approximately 2,000 square feet of space, ideally by donation.
“It's kind of like we're opening a satellite office in Penticton with the plans of making it a fully functioning branch.”
The group also just received a warehouse to use through a donation in Kelowna, located in the old Western Star building on Enterprise Way.
“Thats going to change the way that we can provide support for the growing satellite branch of Mamas for Mamas all across BC,” Christensen said, explaining how it will help ship out non-perishable food and high-need items on a regular basis out to the South Okanagan branch.
"Really at the end of the day, we are a community of mamas with a charitable safety net making sure that there's no mama or child left behind."
The organization aims to launch the Penticton office in April.
Anyone who knows of a space or is interested in partnering can contact the organization through [email protected]