A total of $75,000 will be distributed by the Regional District of East Kootenay to the Cranbrook and Fernie Food Banks and local Salvation Army to provide resources and support for the region.
“The funding comes from a Provincial program aimed at providing support to areas impacted by recent downturns in the forestry sector,” explains Electoral Area B Director Stan Doehle. “In this region, Galloway Lumber Co. was impacted by layoffs in 2019 and as such, this funding will need to be used within Area B and the immediate surrounding communities of Cranbrook and Fernie.”
The RDEK said the Salvation Army will be given $45,000, $20,000 will go to the Cranbrook Food Bank and the Fernie Food Bank will receive $10,000.
A $500 relief package that includes gas and grocery gift cards is available to employees of Galloway Lumber through the Salvation Army. Employees are asked to call the Salvation Army in Cranbrook in advance and bring a photo ID for pickup.
The RDEK added that the remaining funds will be used to support the wider community.
“We are deeply grateful for this funding from the Province,” adds Doehle. “With so many impacts on the local economy in the midst of this pandemic, we know there are individuals and families who need some extra support. This funding will make a tremendous difference in our communities right now.”
According to the RDEK, this funding is part of a $69 million investment from the Province last year for measures aimed at supporting British Columbia’s forest workers impacted by mill closures and shift reductions in a handful of B.C.’s Interior communities.