From feeding the hungry to keeping people warm, the Gleaners are always busy helping people around the world.
The Gleaners now have two processing plants in the Okanagan, One in Oliver and one in the Lavington area. The Oliver operation started in 1994, the Vernon plant in 2007.
Their purpose is to gather (glean) crops that are damaged or left in the fields and that would otherwise go to waste. The product is dried and made into a soup mix that is shipped by various relief organizations around the world to starving people.
Gleaners also collects used medical equipment which is shipped by relief organizations to various parts of the world. Also, every year thousands of packages of seeds are donated by P.N.W. Seeds to Gleaners, which are sent to many countries with the soup mix.
To help with the costs to run the processing plant, in 2010 Gleaners opened a used furniture store at 4405-29th St., across from the old Bakers Dozen store.
Any donation of furniture you have is appreciated, and if you can’t deliver yourself, call for pick-up: 250-549-1123. This year, the store purchased the building and expanded the operation greatly. If you could volunteer a few hours a week at the store, please call. This store, and other donations, is the only means of support for the food processing plant.
Gleaners is made up of Christian volunteers who gather, process and package the produce donated by many local farmers. They also can use volunteer workers at the plant every week Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. If you can help, call Harold Sellers at the plant at 250-558-5872 for directions, or just show up there.
Gleaners also run an annual campaign to collect new socks, mittens, toques and under garments for kids of all ages. These are shipped with the food or separately to Third World countries. This year they will go to Eastern Europe.
Many people enjoy knitting these items or you can purchase them new. Some people like to make kids’ hats from fleece. If you have any of this fabric, please call Brenda at 250-542 -3546
There are collection barrels in most churches, at The Schubert Centre and at the Gleaners furniture store.
Gleaners would like to thank Lou Abram and her faithful group of knitters and sewers from Grace Bible Church who work all year long to supply Gleaners. So far this year, they have produced 1,800 pieces with a goal of 2,000 pieces. Also, this group would appreciate any surplus wool you might have. Call Lou at 250-545-1294.
Last year, the Okanagan Valley produced 14,600 pieces. Your donations are greatly appreciated. The last day of collection is Nov. 29. Any questions, please call Howie Anhorn at 250-549-1632.