Kindness meters were installed in downtown Vernon in 2016 to raise money for organizations that assist with those in need. (Morning Star file)

Dip in kindness meter donations boosted by Vernon councillor

COVID blamed for 80 per cent drop in support for orange sidewalk meters

Vernon politicians are making up for a significant drop in donations to the city’s downtown kindness meters.

Support for the orange parking meters has dropped by nearly 80 per cent since their installation in 2016.

The first year they were in use, a total of $1,863.82 was collected and for 2020, a total of $386.16 was raised.

Council agreed to give this year’s funds to the Archway Society for Domestic Peace, and some have agreed to boost the donation out of their own pockets.

“I would like to match that donation,” Coun. Kari Gares said. “Considering the kindness meters have been decreased quite a bit and obviously COVID played a part in that.”

Mayor Victor Cumming and Coun. Dalvir Nahal also expressed interest in donating additional funds.

Groups such as the Salvation Army Food Bank ($1,863.82 in 2016), Upper Room Mission ($1,798.68 in 2017), North Okanagan Youth and Family Services ($672.47 in 2018) and Vernon Community Dental Access Centre ($711.10 in 2019) were selected as the recipients of the funding for their work in assisting those in need in the community.

The Archway Society was chosen in a year that has seen a rise in reports of domestic violence.

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