Max Winkelman photo.

Food bank receives big produce donation

“It’s just a huge bonus for us and all the recipients”

The 100 Mile House Food Bank received a full truckload of produce donated by Desert Hills Ranch, according to 100 Mile House Food Bank executive director Bob Hicks.

“There was a contest online, on Facebook, between five or six food banks and we won the contest. More people voted for the 100 Mile House Food Bank.”

A 1,000 pounds of food was supposed to be sent to the 100 Mile House Food Bank but due to a mix up it was sent to Loaves and Fishes, according to Hicks.

To make up for the mistake, they donated another 2,500 pounds of food, says Hicks, noting that he doesn’t really think Desert Hills was at fault.

“Desert Hills has been very, very supportive. Dave Porter, who owns Desert Hills, he supports the food banks out of Clinton, Kamloops, Merrit, Ashcroft; a 100 per cent all throughout the summer. He gives us great deals on the food and everything.”

Hicks says for the clients the fresh produce is very important.

“A lot of them say their whole diet is changed now that they have better food to eat.”

Jennifer Tanner started up the program to bring all of that in, says Hicks.

They pick up seven days a week from Save-on-Foods and Safeway what they otherwise would be putting into the landfill, she says.

“After we pick up we bring everything here and we process it. So, we weigh everything and then we record it. It’s recorded into three or four separate categories. You’ve got your meat, produce, dairy and bakery.”

Then they go through all of it and anything that’s still fit for human consumption is provided to recipients and anything else is either going to go to animals or compost, she says. The whole process takes up to about an hour or two for one person to process, she says.

“That way what we’re trying to attain is a zero per cent waste.”

People do not need to be registered with the food bank to pick up food but they still need to sign, she says, which helps them keep their numbers for grant purposes.

They alternate bread pickups at Safeway with Loaves and Fishes, she says.

Products, including frozen meats, are marked so they can’t be returned to Safeway.

She’s very happy with the Desert Hill Ranch donation, she says.

“It’s just a huge bonus for us and all the recipients.”

They’re very grateful for all the donations and fundraisers, as well as the people who come to volunteer.

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