Students lend their support to the Gleaners

Vernon Christian School students volunteer by preparing food at the North Okanagan Valley Gleaners’ plant. - photo submitted
Vernon Christian School students volunteer by preparing food at the North Okanagan Valley Gleaners’ plant.
— image credit: photo submitted

The North Okanagan Valley Gleaners Society (“The Gleaners”) is supported by volunteers whose endeavours turn surplus food crops into nutritious meals for a hungry world.

The Vernon Christian School Grade 8 class has assisted the North Okanagan Valley Gleaners five times between October of last year and February 2014. While some students help with the sorting and cutting of vegetables, others assist by spreading the diced veggies onto pans which are loaded into two large walk-in dehydration rooms.  The dehydrated vegetables will be used to create packets of dried soup mix.  These packets will be boxed and shipped to Third World countries.

Arriving mid-morning, the students have been enthusiastic helpers during every visit.  With eagerness, they have donned an apron and rubber gloves, and then picked out a kitchen knife.

Immediately the volume is ramped up in our cutting room, much to the delight and amusement of our regular volunteers. The “regulars” look forward to the visits of the VCS students, as they do whenever young people join us.

As encouragement to the students, I often tell them how many servings of soup mix they have helped us to produce that day. The significance of having a role in the production of 25,000 or more servings of soup is not lost on these young people. They know that what they are doing will make a very real difference in the lives of many needy children and adults around the world.

Thanks to Joel Haberstock, Jason Reedyk and the others who have been key to the success of this program.  The VCS students are part of a school-wide initiative: “Driven to the Streets,” where the whole student body serves in the community once a month. We’re looking forward to the next group of students who are scheduled to help with production within a few weeks.

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