Shuswap witches trade brooms for paddles in the name of food security | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Shuswap witches trade brooms for paddles in the name of food security

Image Credit: SUBMITTED/ Renae Hollingsworth
October 25, 2020 - 8:30 AM

A group of North Shuswap residents donned their blackest outfits, pointed hats and picked up their paddleboards, all to bring food security to the area.

North Shuswap resident Renae Hollingsworth organized the second annual Witches Paddle which saw 20 paddlers dressed as witches make their way down Lee Creek to fundraise for the North Shuswap Christmas Hamper Society.

Hollingsworth remembers what it was like as a child of a single mother, feeling shame when they had to rely on the food bank for her school lunches.

“It seemed to have caught on fast. The girls really love it and it just seemed like an event to bring awareness to our cause,” she said. “It’s a good workout, we were going against the current.”

She hopes this event will help tackle the stigma around asking for help from food banks, and also support those in need as the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted the community, she said.

Last year her friend ran the campaign to fundraise for a local health centre, but this year “we all kind of agreed that food security is a real issue right now and our economy has been hit hard locally with lack of tourism and business shutting down, so we wanted to focus on keeping the family local and helping as many families in need,” Hollingsworth said.

The event was held Oct. 20, but the group will be collecting donations until Nov. 20. The group is also accepting donations through e-transfer through the

“When I spoke with the director of the society, she said there was roughly 50 families in need and there will likely be more,” she said.

The group of 20 paddlers raised $800 from the paddle and hope to raise $5,000 by Nov. 20.

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