Gleaners share warmth around the world

Okanagan Gleaners prepare soup mixes for the hungry and collect warm clothing for children around the world

If you enjoy knitting or crocheting, the Gleaners could use your help. Every year, the group collects new socks, mittens, toques and undergarments for children of all ages. This year, they will go to children in Bulgaria, to keep them warm in winter.

“Many people enjoy knitting these items for us or you can purchase them new,” said Howie Anhorn, with the Gleaners. “Last year, the Okanagan produced 22,000 pieces, and your donations are most appreciated.”

Collection barrels have been placed in most churches in the North Okanagan, as well as at the Schubert Centre and at the Gleaners furniture store. Last day for collection is Nov. 25.

Gleaners is known for the two processing plants it runs; the Vernon plant opened in 2007, the Oliver plant opened in 1994. Soup mixes are made at the plants to be sent around the world.

“We gather (glean) crops that are damaged or left in the fields and that would otherwise go to waste,” said Anhorn. “The product is dried and made into a soup mix that is shipped by various relief organizations around the world for people who are starving.

“Gleaners is made up of Christian volunteers who gather, process and package the produce donated by many local farmers.”

Gleaners also collects used medical equipment which is shipped by relief organizations to various parts of the world. As well, thousands of packages of seeds are donated annually by PNW Seeds to Gleaners, which this year sent them to North Korean along with the soup, which will arrive there at the end of November.

To help with the costs of running the processing plant, the Gleaners run a used furniture store at 4405-29th St., and donations of used furniture are always welcome, with pick-up available by calling 250-549-1123.

“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.”

Volunteers at the plant are always needed, Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to noon. If you can help, please call Eileen at 250-545-1672 for directions.

For more information about the Gleaners, please call Anhorn at 250-549-1632.