May 08, 2015 - 7:06 AM
KELOWNA – For the fifth year, the Kelowna Food Bank is taking part in a national program which encourages kids and seniors to get back to their roots, and at the same time, help feed the less fortunate in the community.
The Plant a Row, Grow a Row program started in 1986. Volunteers at the food bank take seeds and planting mix to various schools and long term care facilities and the vegetables and fruit they grow is given back to the community.
Patty Lou Bryant is the coordinator of the Kelowna Food Bank, she says they expect as much as 50,000 pounds of fresh veggies donated this year.
“We want people to be able to eat the best vegetables in the world,” she says. “We make sure that all the vegetables that come to us get passed along to wherever people need food.”
So far seven day care and preschools, along with nine long-term care facilities, have agreed to take part and for the first time they also have a community garden in Mission Creek Regional Park.
“This is the first year that we’ve done it on this scale,” she says. “We’re trying to get people to understand it’s not that hard to garden. Anybody can grow a tomato plant quite easily in an ice cream bucket and have cherry tomatoes all summer.”
Bryant says another focus this year is encouraging people to grow vegetables which work well as baby food and she will be doing a canning seminar in June.
“We all benefit from the program because we don’t waste,” she says. “The environment benefits, the kids benefit, the seniors benefit and the Food Banks’ clientele benefits.”
If you would like to learn more about the program or make a donation, visit the Kelowna Food Bank website.
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