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Penticton  

Free garden box initiative aims to help solve food insecurity in the South Okanagan

Grow veggies for food bank

A new Penticton initiative aims to make fresh produce available to more people in need in the community, something the organizers say is especially important during COVID-19. 

The Co-Vic Garden Box Project is a Medical Arts Health Research Group initiative that will see raised garden beds installed in local homes, with all materials, installation and seedlings provided.

"We are looking for 25 households in Penticton who don't have access to a garden of their own, who are in need of more fresh produce and who also want to give back to the community as well," Sierra Hartmann said, who has spearheaded the initiative.

"What we're going to do is look at those submissions and then build two garden boxes on their properties."

One of the 4' by 4' boxes is for the household's personal use, and the other will provide fresh food to be donated to the Penticton Food Bank. 

The group is actively seeking interested households who have the space to house two boxes, and a sincere interest in growing produce. 

They are also looking for donations toward their project like lumber, screws, soil, fertilizer, seeds or seedlings. 

"We've already got a donation of veggie starters from Flowers on the Bench, we would like to say thank you to them," Hartmann said.

"We have some people from Valley Comfort who have also been involved in supporting us, and we are always looking for more support in that way."

Hartmann is personally thrilled to be part of the project and sees it as a perfect fit for her after two years working as the program coordinator with the Salvation Army Food Bank Community Garden. 

"I really enjoyed working with different people in the community and supporting food security," Hartmann explained. "I think especially during the COVID-19 outbreak it's important for us to come together to support our community, so I look forward to participating in that."

Any households who would like to apply for the garden boxes or local businesses that would like to offer donations can email Sierra Hartmann at [email protected]

More information on the project can be found here, and financial donations to the initiative can be made here to support healthy food security in the Okanagan.  



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