A dedicated group of UBC Okanagan students are committing their free time this fall to salvage and deliver fresh, local produce to the Kelowna Community Food Bank that would otherwise be left to drop from trees and go to waste.
This is the second year the UBC Okanagan Food Rescue Club will be gleaning selected orchards with the goal of helping to provide children, families and individuals who need assistance from the food bank with nutritious, locally-grown fruit.
"The UBCO Food Rescue Club is an initiative driven by a few dedicated students who are looking to make a difference and who understand that even with few resources you can still have a positive impact on your community," says Liam Fitzpatrick, the club's president.
Last fall, the UBC Okanagan Food Rescue Club gleaned and donated 1,450 lbs of produce to the Kelowna Community Food Bank.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this program,” said Lenetta Parry, associate executive director at the Kelowna Community Food Bank. “It is great to see students making this kind of difference. The Kelowna Food Bank is constantly looking for ways to improve the nutritional quality of the food we distribute, so this program is a great fit. It’s simple -- local produce will not go to waste and can reach the tables of those in need instead.
"We cannot thank these students and orchardists enough.”
Other members of the UBC Okanagan Food Rescue club include Tim Krupa, Andrew Mortenson and Shaman McLean.
"Over the fall months we log quite a few hours -- we have to work fast, as it's a very short time frame where the fruit is still of good quality," says Fitzpatrick.
Contact the UBC Okanagan Food Rescue Club to get involved.