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North Okanagan farm ‘ears’ of fresh food need for firefighters

Spallumcheen’s Bellmann Specialty Produce spearheads healthy food donation with 1,000 cobs of corn
Jennifer Bellmann of Bellmann Specialty Produce in Spallumcheen helped spearhead a massive North Okanagan donation of fresh fruit and vegetables to firefighters battling the Okanagan blazes. (Facebook photo)

Firefighters battling the blazes in the Okanagan will have a chance to pick fresh corn out of their teeth, thanks to the generosity of a Spallumcheen farm.

Bellmann Specialty Produce on Grandview Flats Road answered a call from the Vernon Elks Lodge saying they were looking for fresh fruit and vegetables to donate to the firefighters.

“We were thinking of making a donation to the Lodge when we saw their Facebook post,” said Jennifer Bellmann. “We ended up sending 1,000 cobs of corn.”

The move sparked a domino effect of giving.

Bellmann put her donation on the farm’s Facebook page, and shared that fresh fruit, vegetables and such were still needed.

“People started dropping things off at our farm and in less than a day we had produce from gardens, eggs,” she said. “One person even donated some beef. It was so amazing. There was a steady stream of people donating small stuff from their gardens, and farms with trucks came and dropped off donations.”

Vernon’s Swan Lake Market and Garden chipped in with loads of boxes of fresh fruit, veggies, and bread.

There were enough donations of produce to fill up the back of Bellmann’s truck, and her friend, Lynelle Walters’ car, to take to the Vernon Elks Lodge. People also donated cash through the Spallumcheen farm, close to $1,000.

For the Bellmanns, helping the firefighters is a way to show their undying gratitude.

The farm was evacuated in 2021 for three-to-four days during the White Rock Lake fire, and there have been several other close calls around their property.

“We have a massive appreciation for the firefighters,” said Bellmann. “They can’t function without healthy food so we’re happy to help them out.”

READ MORE: Body found in Vernon brush fire

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Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
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