It has been a busy year for the North Okanagan Valley Gleaners.
In 2021, the Gleaners produced 5.1 million servings of food.
This year, the Gleaners are on track to produce 12 million servings of food and since 2009, Gleaners has produced 66,311,720 servings of food to feed the world's hungry.
Founded in 2007, the Gleaners operate a used furniture store in Vernon as well as plant in Lavington that processes and dehydrates fruit and vegetables that are shipped to some of the poorest regions in the world.
Gleaners has also partnered with ENACTUS, a student-run organization at Okanagan College, to assist in producing a nutritious dehydrated apple snack that is provided to local schools.
Gleaners have also partnered with the BCIT Nutritional Program within the School of Health Sciences to scientifically determine the nutrition and nutrient values of dehydrated fruits and vegetables.
That information will allow the Gleaners to develop formulas for the highest possible nutritional value for the group's soup mix.
That information will be shared with all other Gleaners operations worldwide.
In the past year, the Gleaners have also donated $40,000 dollars worth of furniture and appliances through a variety of agencies to local people in need.
The Gleaners are looking at ways to get the word out about their ongoing operations to grow the work they are doing.
“Two huge successes from sharing our story has been that we now receive a tremendous amount of surplus medical equipment and thousands of pounds of unsold vegetable seeds that we distribute to those in need globally,” the Gleaners said in a report to Vernon city council.
“All of these donations that we send around the world were destined for our landfill. To continue and grow this extremely valuable work we recognize we need to start to replenish our aging force of volunteers and ask that you share our story and encourage people to reach out.”
The local Gleaners have six paid staff members at the furniture store and processing plant.
“Ours is a story worth telling and locals are always surprised and shocked to learn that all this is accomplished right here in Vernon.”