Grant funding will promote improvements to health

A $5,000 Healthy Communities grant will provide funding for a series of films to generate discussions about health in Summerland.

A $5,000 Healthy Communities grant will provide funding for a series of films to generate discussions about health in Summerland.

The Healthy Community Capacity Building Fund grant was announced on Friday. The provincial funding will go to the municipality, together with the Summerland Healthy Community Initiative.

Beginning in fall, the municipality will present a Healthy Film Conversation Series.

The films are intended to generate responses about concerns and needs in the community and to build support for future health-related projects.

“It’s pretty evident this is a concern here in Summerland and in the Okanagan,” said Joanne Malar, program coordinator with the municipality’s parks and recreation department.

The Vital Signs 2015 report from the Community Foundation of the Okanagan Similkameen shows 54 per cent of residents in the region are overweight or obese. In addition, 33 per cent of Summerland residents reported depression or anxiety and nine per cent reported having diabetes.

Sandra Turnbull, professional practice leader with Interior Health, said the funding and the film initiative are needed.

“It’s just the boost we need to further connect with Summerlanders about healthy community issues in a fun yet meaningful way,” she said. “We’re excited to be able share some great films that focus on global issues, such as environmental sustainability and food security that are very relevant to our local community.”

Mayor Peter Waterman hopes to hear comments from a cross-section of the community.

“Groups involved with seniors, childhood development, agriculture and food security, and mental health will be invited to participate in these events and hopefully join-in the conversation,” he said.