A group of business students at Okanagan College are looking for volunteer apple pickers for FruitSnaps, a project that provides school children with healthy snacks made from unused fruit. Socially distanced apple picking sessions will be held in Coldstream From Oct. 1-10, 2020. (Contributed)

Vernon college students seek harvesting help in Coldstream

Volunteer apple pickers are needed for a project that turns unused fruit into snacks for children

Volunteer apple pickers are needed to help harvest unused fruit in Coldstream, to be turned into healthy snacks for school children and others in need.

FruitSnaps is a project started by a group of business students at Okanagan College (OC) that collects fruit from local orchards that would otherwise go to waste. The fruit is then dehydrated into a healthy snack and distributed to local schools and food banks.

Four socially distanced apple picking sessions are planned at the orchard at 10168 Grey Road in Coldstream on the following dates.

Thursday, Oct. 1 from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Sunday, Oct. 4 from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Tuesday, Oct. 6 from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Saturday, Oct. 10 – from noon – 4 p.m.

Volunteers are asked to don a mask upon arrival and while picking, and masks will be provided to those in need of one. Physical distancing of six feet will be required, and hand sanitizer will be made available throughout the day.

The North Okanagan Gleaners Society is also lending a hand, offering its facility for the processing of the apples.

Since beginning in the fall of 2018, the Vernon- and Penticton-based project has provided snacks to more than 40,000 students, engaged with 33 community partners, diverted more than 18,500 pounds of food waste and conserved an estimated 3,885,000 litres of water.

Of the 35,000 servings the team has produced, 12,000 have been distributed internationally.

FruitSnaps has garnered numerous awards over its first two years. In May, the project team comprised of Karsten Ensz, Abigail Underwood and Marin Carruthers, backed by their faculty advisor Andrew Klingel, presented virtually at Enactus National Exposition. Their efforts earned them multiple awards and a podium finish.

READ MORE: Pumpkins ripe for the picking at Vernon orchard

READ MORE: Researchers examine challenges to Okanagan’s agricultural sector

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
Email me at Brendan.Shykora@vernonmorningstar.com
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