Youth Necessity Nook Now Open
Local youth now have one more resource in the community to help with food and hygiene products. Boys and Girls Club of Kamloops Youth team have created a “Necessity Nook” where youth can come and get what they need.
“Our goal is to create low to no barriers for youth to access resources. We know youth are unable to access some resources without identification and all we require is a name and a birthdate,” says Abby Smith, youth programs leader.
Abby notes that, due to COVID-19, youth staff have seen an increase in the number of youth accessing Club services, particularly food services.
“Even before the pandemic, we knew youth had food insecurity issues and we have definitely seen an increase in the need for our services as the pandemic continues,” says Abby.
Youth aged 11 to 24 years-old can access the Necessity Nook once per week, in addition to the food and supply hampers that are given out each Friday. And it’s not just food that is available, basic hygiene supplies are also available for youth.
“We have lots of hygiene supplies like wipes, shampoo, deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, and more,” says Abby.
And staff is always available for a consult, adds Abby. This consult could be referring youth to other community partners for support and Club staff can also help with transportation to supports such as health or other appointments, by offering rides in Club vehicles or by giving youth bus tickets.
"We will offer the Necessity Nook year-round so youth will always have a place to access what they need. We know when youth aren’t in school, they can become disconnected from local supports, like school food programs, so we are here to help them with what they need to get them throughout the year,” says Abby.
Abby has noted these supplies have always been available for youth but thanks to being the recipient of recent funding, she and her staff have been able to purchase greater quantities of food and hygiene supplies and will be able to help more youth in need of necessities. However, when the funding is done, youth staff will rely on donations to keep items in stock.
So, what does the Necessity Nook need?
“We love dried goods and other items that don’t require refrigeration. We found shelf stable milk and margarine that don’t need to be refrigerated until they’re opened. We need more of those items. And we are always in need of personal hygiene products,” says Abby.
The Necessity Nook is available weekdays (Monday-Friday) from 3p.m. to 6pm., by appointment. To make an appointment, email Dez Luce, youth worker, at firstname.lastname@example.org