Valley First Endowment grant helps OSNS in 2017

The grant for the OSNS teaching kitchen just one of the ways First West helps communities.

Healthy eating habits make for happy learners and thanks to Valley First, kids and parents of the OSNS Child and Youth Development Centre are a little better off.

That’s because through a more than $5,000 grant from the First West Foundation, through its Valley First Endowment Centre, the money was used to complete and better equip the innovative Valley First Teaching Kitchen Project at the centre.

That was just one of 13 grants totalling $108,260 the foundation distributed throughout the Okanagan, Similkameen and Thomson regions in 2017.

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In total First West gave 100 grants in the amount of $673,258 in all four of its regions.

“Through these grants, we’re able to make a real difference in the lives of people in our communities,” said Susan Byrom, executive director of the First West Foundation in a news release. “By helping local organizations get the funding they need, we ensure they can continue to deliver the programs and services that make our communities a better place to live.”

Valley First is a division of First West.

The OSNS teaching kitchen began last year to help children, especially those with developmental challenges, establish a healthy relationship with nutritious food.

It also includes a parent education component to help them learn how to feed children who may have specific dietary and sensory challenges.

“Making sure that children enjoy healthy foods and that parents know how to provide healthy foods is a developmental game changer,” said OSNS Executive Director Manisha Willms. “Good nutrition and proper sleep are foundation pieces to successful learning. We are so grateful for the Valley First Teaching Kitchen Project”.

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