Record-shattering is more like it.
After producing 5.1 million servings of food in 2021, the North Okanagan Valley Gleaners more than doubled that figure in 2022, producing and shipping more than 13 million servings of food overseas to feed the world’s hungry.
“I am so proud of our volunteers,” said board chair Harold Sellers. “This amazing amount of food would be impossible to produce without them. The people of the North Okanagan and our volunteers are making a significant contribution to feeding those who need it most.”
Gleaners received 1.4 million pounds of donated vegetables and fruit which is also a record-breaking amount.
The organization has also shipped 10 sea-can containers full of donated medical equipment and supplies in 2022 with the last one leaving for Eswatini, in Africa, a few weeks ago.
“Our goal for the upcoming year is to send 15 million servings of food,” said Russ Phillips, manager of the Gleaners’ plant in Lavington. “With an additional eight volunteers a day, we should be able to maximize our production and meet this goal.”
In Vernon, the Gleaners’ Used Furniture and Appliance Store also saw significant growth in both donations and customers visiting the store.
“The momentum just continues to grow, and a big thank you to all those who both donate and buy furniture as you are all contributing to our mission of feeding the hungry,” said store manager Christiane Molendyk.
Gleaners has also assisted many people in the North Okanagan, donating more than $40,000 worth of furniture in 2022 to those in need.
To show the tremendous impact volunteering at Gleaners can have, just one four-hour volunteer shift equates directly to the production of 1,400 servings of food. That’s feeding two people for an entire year.
By donating four hours of your time once a week for a year, a Gleaners volunteer can contribute to the production of enough food to feed 100 people for an entire year.
“It’s important for us to tell our story and get this information out to the community as good things always happen when we do,” said outreach team lead and volunteer Gene Bryant. “I encourage everyone to visit our website (novgleaners.org) and follow us on Facebook (North Okanagan Valley Gleaners) so you can see the impact that those here in the North Okanagan are having on feeding those that are in dire need.”
As they like to say, “Proudly keeping seniors off the streets since 2007,” the North Okanagan Valley Gleaners encourage more people to become involved with their work to feed the hungry. Email email@example.com, or call 250-549-1123 for more information.