Monique Mazereeuw

Monique Mazereeuw

Food bank ready to harvest generosity

The Salvation Army’s Vernon food bank is making sure everyone has access to a healthy meal.

An apple a day keeps the doctor away.

The benefits of eating fresh fruit and vegetables are well known, and with the help of local farmers and residents, the Salvation Army’s Vernon food bank is making sure everyone has access to a healthy meal.

The Salvation Army’s gleaning program provides volunteers to help people with an abundance of produce to harvest their food and donate a portion of it to local non-profit groups.

The produce sharing works by the person donating the food keeping one third, the volunteers who harvest keeping one third, and the last third going to the Salvation Army and given to those in need in our community.

“We are looking to expand our volunteer and donor base,” said David MacBain community ministries director of the Salvation Army.

Donors can be anyone from farmers to a resident with a fruit tree or vegetable garden and all they have to do is call the Salvation Army to arrange for their crop to be picked.

The program has had a lot of help from the Vernon Farmers Market. They have had 1,500 pounds of fresh produce donated from local farmers since the start of this year’s market.

“I love seeing people leaving with their carts full of greens with big grins on their faces,” said gleaning co-ordinator Monique Mazereeuw.

Some of the organizations that benefit from the program are the Upper Room Mission, First Nations Friendship Centre, prenatal and daycare programs and North Okanagan Family Resource Centre.

The goal of the program is to distribute as much food around the community and reduce the amount of food wasted. Last year a total of 6,349 pounds of food was gleaned.

To become a volunteer or donor, contact Monique at 250-307-7770 or email SAgleaning@live.ca