Community Papers

Harvest Share set for 10th year

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BY LORNE ECKERSLEY

Advance staff

As it enters its 10th year, Creston Valley Harvest Share has a new co-ordinator.

Dennis Charles will be overseeing the program in 2017, with the help of a pickup truck provided by Kokanee Ford Sales.

"We have a list of volunteers—91 right now—but we can always use more," Charles said on Monday.

Harvest Share co-ordinates the picking of produce that property owners are unable to harvest themselves. The proceeds are divided equally among the volunteers, property owners and community agencies.

"It's a win-win-win program," said Jen Comer, who oversees the program in her work with the Creston Valley Food Action Coalition.

She listed produce that Harvest Share has reaped in recent years—cherries, applies, zucchini, watermelons, walnuts, peaches, blueberries, potatoes, "and plums, plums, plums!"

Charles, originally from Grand Prairie AB, has been an active volunteer since moving to Creston three years ago. For much of that time he has directed his energy to PAWS.

"I enjoy volunteering," he said. "It helps make a better community. And I am now really excited to be part of this program."

"For some people (recipients of produce through agencies like the Food Bank) it's the only access they have to fresh fruit and vegetables," Comer said. "It's startling because most of us just take fresh food for granted."

Funding for Harvest Share comes primarily from a $12,000 BC Gaming grant and about $5,000 in Columbia Basin Trust Community Initiatives Program grants, she said.

The program helps to clean backyard orchards of unwanted fruit, reducing attractants for bears, but also helps put to use many fruits and vegetables that might otherwise go to the landfill or composts.

People who wish to volunteer, property owners who have excess produce and residents who want information about how to access the produce can refer to the www.crestonfoodaction.ca web site or the Creston Harvest Share Facebook page.

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