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Feeding our community

Valley First, a division of First West Credit Union and First West Foundation are pleased to send along a $500 donation from the Community Help Fund to our friends Okanagan Fruit Tree Project Society. Join us and help our community have increased access to fresh fruit and vegetables.

Tell us about your charity and how the community can help your organization

The Okanagan Fruit Tree Project has been cultivating community through local food since 2012. Our food security organization runs programs to help alleviate hunger, reduce food waste, and provide a safe and non-stigmatizing opportunity for anyone in our community to participate in and learn about our local food system. Through our farming program our volunteers grow delicious vegetables and herbs. Through our gleaning program our volunteers harvest produce like fruits, vegetables, and sometimes nuts that would otherwise be wasted from farms, orchards and backyards in the Okanagan. The produce harvested through both our programs are shared with over 50 schools and social service agencies in the Central and South Okanagan! Children, youth, seniors, people with health conditions or a diversability, new immigrants, single-parent families and more all benefit from increased access to healthy fruits and vegetables. Our volunteers get to experience a healthy, fun, inclusive, educational experience and they get to take home some of the harvest. It's a win-win-win for all involved!

This year, access to healthy fruits and vegetables is more important than ever as more people in our community find themselves without enough money to buy food. Each dollar donated helps us grow or glean at least three pounds of produce to share among some of the most vulnerable people in our community! Your donation causes a ripple effect in that it also helps out all the agencies and schools we support because they are able to stretch their food programming budgets further which means they can do more as well. Farmers and orchardists who often face financial challenges receive a tax receipt for their large produce donations which means any impacts from a tough growing season are partially reduced. This means that your financial donation supports a lot of different people and organizations in your community. Talk about bang for your buck!