Penticton and South Okanagan
Food bank offers vegetable guides
Aug 28, 2013 / 4:24 pm
Every summer, donated vegetables make their way to the shelves of The Salvation Army Community Food Bank in Penticton.
But more often than not, staff was finding clients had no idea how to use the kale, eggplant, squash and other unique vegetables now available to them.
"People were often holding them up and saying what do we do with these?" said Barb Stewart, program coordinator for the Penticton Salvation Army.
To come up with a solution, the food bank applied for grant money from Food Banks Canada and Campbell's Community Kitchen Better Meals Fund.
When $6,000 in grant money came through, they used it to create five vegetable guide books, on eggplant, kale, winter squash, summer squash and beets.
"It was a team of people from the community kitchen who actually created the guide books," said Stewart. "And I want to say a huge thank you to Allegra Printing. They did a fabulous job with the colour printing."
The small books offer nutrition notes, such as ounce for ounce kale contains more calcium than milk, and how to store, clean, freeze and juice the veggies.
There are recipes, as well as instructions on how to grow the nutritious plants.
"We are really looking at nutrition education, by leading people toward community kitchens and gardens as a way to be hopeful and lessen the dependency on food banks," said Stewart.
The guidebooks are available to clients by donation. The funding that comes in, will go towards the community kitchen.
So far the kale and eggplant books have been offered to clients. others will come out as the vegetables are harvested.
The food bank itself, is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Friday, and offers a wide range of services from school supplies to the community kitchen and community gardens, food hampers and food available on a daily basis.
Sandie Schmidt, the food bank's administrative assistant who is involved with the community gardens on Martin Street, said she loves the new guides.
"They are great for our clients," she said. "They are learning what to do with the vegetables, and it gets them talking as well, which creates a sense of community."
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