The Nicola Valley Youth Collaboration Table held its youth and young people outreach lunch on Friday, March 18, at the Spirit Square. 

Scw’exmx Child and Family Services Society. Merritt Community Policing, Scw’exmx Community Health Services, Citxw Nlaka’pamux Assembly, Nlaka’pamux Health Services, Lower Nicola Indian Band, and Merritt Secondary School have come together to form the collaboration table with the youth in mind. 

“It’s just really important to stay connected with the youth,” said Marlene Jones, Community Policing Office Coordinator. “If they’re having problems or issues we want them to know where they can come for support.” 

Kids were able to eat hotdogs and chips and have either water or a juice box provided by the Table. School supplies, wellness and grooming supplies, were also handed out at the lunch. 

The table setups by the different organizations provided pamphlets and explanations to the services they provide that the youth and the community might not be aware of. 

“It feels good when we have opportunities like this to open up our services to others,” said Virginia Aspinall, programs coordinator for the CNA.

Along with the lunch, the Scw’exmx Child and Family Services Society launched it’s first ever spring scavenger hunt. A challenge thrown out into the Valley open for anyone to participate.The scavenger hunt will last until April 1. 

The lunch today was held at Spirit Square which has had a reputation for not so being youth friendly. Using the space in a way similar to this free lunch could help change the Square’s bad rap. 

“I wouldn’t come  with my packed lunch and eat here on a normal day,”.says Lepika Saddleman, member of the Nlaka’pamux Health Services. “But coming here as a group and making it more of a safe space to hang out makes it an option.” 

The lunch will be taking place on the third Friday of each month and would take place at a different location each time.