Shirley Cochrane (left), Tina Nieuwenhuizen and Maye Cann tending to the HOPE garden in July 2018. (Marlene Martens photo)

Hope grows for Shuswap foodbanks thanks to modest volunteers

Secret garden donated 1,100 pounds of vegetables produced last year

A garden powered by goodwill and green thumbs has donated more than 1,000 pounds of fresh produce to the hungry.

HOPE garden, which stands for Helping Other People Eat, is the idea that Maye Cann pitched to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church two years ago. The idea took root and since then, Cann has watered, weeded, harvested and hauled the vegetables grown in the garden to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Read more: In photos: Garden starter

Read more: Koi fish return to Chinese garden, 6 months since ‘otterpocalypse’

Janet Hanna, a long time friend of Cann, is acutely aware of her friend’s modesty but wanted to highlight her efforts all the same.

“It was Maye’s idea and she does a lot of the work and she doesn’t like blowing her own horn at all, but all the produce goes to second harvest and that is such a need of the community,” Hanna said.

The garden grows potatoes, carrots, beets, onions and other long lasting root vegetables that are household staples. Last year the garden netted 1,100 pounds of fresh produce and, after an expansion was made this year, volunteers are hoping to produce between 1,400 and 1,500 pounds of vegetables for donation.

Ena van Zoeren, the minister at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, notes the garden is helping to solve a challenge commonly faced by food banks.

“They get a lot of things like canned goods and things like Kraft Dinner, baked beans,” said Zoeren. “They don’t often accept fresh produce but if you grow your own and bring it in they will gladly take it.”

The location of the HOPE garden remains a secret as St. Andrew’s has been victim to several burglaries. A less well-kept secret, however, is another waste food redistribution organization, The North Okanagan Valley Gleaners Society, where she volunteers every Thursday.

Read more: Garden party supports Mamas for Mamas

Read more: Okanagan micro-garden proposed to provide wineries with fresh vegetables

Zoeren also knows of Maye Cann’s modesty, acknowledging that Cann did plant the seed for the project but the garden has become something bigger for the church.

“It’s a big part of who St. Andrew’s is to reach out into the community, and we really can’t think of a much better way to do this than by feeding the people that are hungry,” Zoeren said.

Although the HOPE garden is working to provide more people with fresh produce, Zoeren would like to see the entire town work for the same cause.

“If you’re interested in this ministry and you have your own garden, why not plant an extra row of carrots or an extra row of potatoes for the food bank,” she said.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Lumby grads celebrate

Charles Bloom Secondary’s class of 2019

College investigates Vernon physiotherapist

Stephen Witvoet’s matters are currently before the courts

Thousands soak up Downtown Vernon Sunshine Festival

One-day annual event a hit with residents and visitors

Still room for golfers in KidSport tournament

Inaugural KidSport Greater Vernon Golf Tournament goes Thursday at Vernon Golf and Country Club

Arrested suspect connected to string of North Okanagan robberies

Man arrested after failed robbery at Enderby store may be involved in four other such crimes

Murray McLauchlan delights Vernon crowd

Canadian music icon puts on wonderful two-hour show at Performing Arts Centre

Rose Valley Rd. fire in West Kelowna has now been extinguished

West Kelowna Fire Chief says first two grass fires Tuesday were human caused

Life’s work of talented Shuswap sculptor leads to leukemia

Former Salmon Arm resident warns of dangers of chemical contact

Shuswap car dealership seeks return of unique stolen Jeep

The red 1989 four-by-four was taken from Salmon Arm GM’s lot early Monday morning.

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

MPs hear retired South Okanagan nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

Hergott: Contribution and Expectation of a will

Lawyer Paul Hergott continues his column on wills

Most Read