A Naloxone kit, which can help save the life of someone who is overdosing. (Black Press file photo)

GFCAT to host vigil for International Overdose Day

The vigil will be in Grand Forks City Park on Aug. 31.

The Grand Forks Community Action Team (GFCAT) is donating $10,000 to improve local food access in Grand Forks.

The GFCAT collaborative group gave $5,000 to the Boundary Community Food Bank Society and $5,000 to Whispers of Hope Benevolence Association to provide food and meals for local people.

GFCAT is holding a community vigil, with social distancing, for International Overdose Awareness Day on Monday, Aug. 31 to acknowledge loved ones who have lost their lives due to the fentanyl/opioid overdose crisis and to increase awareness about the issue. The vigil will be held at Grand Forks City Park.

Ahead of the vigil, GFCAT will have an information table on Market Avenue on Friday.

In June 2020, the Coroners Service reported there were 177 suspected illicit drug overdose deaths in B.C. This is the highest number of deaths due to overdose in B.C. history. July followed with 175 deaths, and it is suggested that the pandemic may have contributed to increased overdose deaths.

READ MORE: Drug alert issued in Grand Forks after fentanyl, ‘benzos’ detected in test

GFCAT is committed to raising awareness about the fentanyl and opioid crisis and reducing death due to overdose in the local community. The GFCAT group receives funding from the Overdose Emergency Response Centre (OERC), the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions (MMHA) and Community Action Initiative (CAI). The AIDS Network Kootenay Outreach and Support Society (ANKORS) is the regional social service agency that receives the funds and helps to facilitate this work. The GFCAT group has reallocated funds from their cancelled educational conference toward food security this year.

GFCAT is focused on reducing stigma around mental health and addictions and to increasing use of public healthcare services. This is a collaborative group of service professionals, community members, emergency responders, youth counsellors, Indigenous services, peers (people with lived and living experience of substance use), and other community stakeholders. The group is committed to supporting the health and wellness of people in the Grand Forks area.



Brennan.Phillips@grandforksgazette.ca

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