The West Kelowna Salvation Army is combating food insecurity with growing Tomato, cucumber and lettuce plants in self-watering buckets.
“You know the old saying: ‘you can either give somebody a fish or you can teach them to fish,'” said Jennifer Henson, West Kelowna Salvation Army officer.
“That’s sort of the heart behind this project — that we really want to help people to be able to find solutions to food insecurity in their lives and in their community.”
The project is a creative way to help people needing a little extra help due to the pandemic.
“About 50 per cent of the folks that are visiting us these days are households we haven’t connected to in the past so we know COVID has expanded the scope of food insecurity,” said Henson.
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The project is made possible by Incredible Edible Okanagan, a group of volunteers that hope to plant a passion for gardening for people in need.
“Seeds are expensive. If you want to plant a whole garden you are looking at a good investment and this was is a way to help people who are food insecure and are capable of growing a garden for themselves,” said Lois Beisher, Incredible Edible Okanagan founder.
And if clients that the Salvation Army serve in West Kelowna and Peachland have available space, they can pick up one of gardens in a bag, full of seeds with everything a novice gardener could crave.
“In the Okanagan, we have so much land available and such a wonderful climate that there’s really no need for people to be food insecure. So it’s all about growing food and sharing food,” said Beischer.
Beischer has extended the groups’ dedication to the Salvation army securing half an acre of land at Jackalope Farms by donation.
“I have the opportunity to give back to a community that has given a lot to me and it’s an opportunity to share, because not everyone has access to land and I think that’s really unfortunate,” said Serina Penner, Jackalope Farms owner.
All of the partners in the program hope they will be able to donate an abundance of fresh produce to donate after the harvest.
“We are thinking of things that are long term that can be sustained on a shelf there’s going to be some squash, beets and carrots if they turn up and maybe some turnips,” said Penner.
To secure a bucket garden for yourself or a garden in a bag, contact the West Kelowna Salvation Army at 250-768-1850.