Simply Delicious Natural & Gourmet Market is making a win-win for local youth mental health.

From now to the end of December, customers can add a donation to their Simply Delicious purchase to support youth programs at Canadian Mental Health Association (CMHA), Vernon & District Branch. For each dollar donated, customers receive an entry into a draw for free groceries.

The winning ticket will be drawn in early January, with the lucky winner receiving a $200 gift card each month for a year.

“We believe in families helping families,” said store owner Troy Roland. “We want those in our community who struggle with mental health to know that we are here for them.”

Funds raised will support CMHA programs for youth aged 7 to 18 years. Youth who are living with a parent who has been diagnosed with a mental illness, as well as youth who are facing their own mental health challenges take part in a variety of activities designed to build peer support, coping skills and resilience. CMHA provides recreational activities, mental health education sessions, life skills development such as cooking classes, and employment readiness skills development for older youth.

“Children and youth who have a parent with a mental illness are at-risk of experiencing mental health issues of their own,” said Julia Payson, Executive Director for CMHA Vernon & District. “The risk can be lowered through positive peer support programs that address issues around parental mental health, respite care, and time to just be kids.”

About one in seven young people in BC will experience a mental illness at some point. More than half of mental illnesses show up before the age of 18, having a significant impact on a child’s development.

“The ongoing support from the Simply Delicious team and our community is very heartening,” said Julia Payson, Executive Director for CMHA Vernon & District. “We are so grateful to be part of a community that stands up and speaks out for better mental health for our youth.”

Simply Delicious has been a Vernon mainstay for the past 35 years. Vernon residents Troy and Dinora Roland purchased the store in 2016. Last December they raised $1,000 for CMHA during their monthly customer appreciation day.

Simply Delicious is located at 3419 31 Avenue in Vernon.

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