The seeds of a new partnership have taken root in Vernon, to keep food on the table for community members in need.
Quality Greens customers can now donate their purchase points to the Upper Room Mission, which the mission can use to purchase groceries.
According to a release, the mission places bread, fruit and vegetables out twice daily when available, and several dozen community members rely on the items.
“It is nice that they have this,” said Gay, a 58-year-old community member who has been accessing the services at the mission for about a year and a half.
Gay, whose last name is being withheld, lives in a 55+ apartment building in downtown Vernon. In addition to collecting groceries for herself, she said she shares items with neighbours in her building.
“I bring them what I can because I know if I don’t, maybe they won’t have food,” she said.
Cera Brown, the general manager of the mission, said the new partnership with Quality Greens will help them make more groceries available daily.
“Food scarcity is a real concern for many people in Vernon,” Brown said. “Having to choose between food and life’s other necessities, like rent, school or even medications, can create a lot of stress for families and individuals.
“The fresh produce and bread made available daily at the mission can help ease that stress. We can’t do that without the support of businesses like Quality Greens.”
Just three weeks into the campaign, Quality Greens store manager Jeremy Silzer said customers have already donated $500 in points.
“We set out with the goal of $1,000 in points by Christmas,” said Silzer. “We are three weeks into the campaign and our customers have already donated more than half of that amount.”
He said when they hit the $1,000 point mark, they will just readjust the goal.
“We have amazingly generous customers,” he said. “They have told us that this campaign is important to them, so we plan to keep it going for as long as our customers support it.”
The Kelowna and Penticton Quality Greens locations will also be launching similar programs soon. Community groups interested in joining can email email@example.com.