Operation Snowsuit is underway, meaning Renfrew County families can receive support with bundling up their kids for winter.
The program is run by the Renfrew County Community Poverty Action Network (CPAN). Families who need winter clothing can apply through the Network’s website at any time throughout winter.
New executive director Chéla Breckon says in the first week, 190 families applied for support, with many needing clothing for multiple children. She says the program typically hands out 600 snowsuits every year, but she believes demand could be higher this time.
“Cost of living is really changing for local families in our area,” she says. “We don’t want to see an increase, because it means more households are struggling. But we are prepared to handle that increase this year, should it occur.”
The anticipated rise puts more pressure on donations, but Brekon says the Network has a great mix of businesses and private donors who provide snowsuits.
Another challenge the Network is facing is getting a new pick-up location in Barry’s Bay, as the previously used warehouse is no longer available. Brekon says she’s working with Madawaska Valley Township to get a new location.