An Okanagan charity is ramping up its international impact.
The North Okanagan Valley Gleaners are aiming to distribute 15 million servings of food aid this year.
If they do, it will be the group’s second record year in a row.
Last year the society, which turns donated produce into dehydrated soup mix for international humanitarian aid, shipped out more servings than it ever had before, more than 13.4 million.
This year the charity is on track to break that record. It’s already distributed five million servings and it’s only April.
“Most of the food is spoken for before we are even able to package it. I’ve got multiple organizations on an email list and people are always asking for food and when it’s available,” said Gleaners’ plant manager Russell Phillips.
Part of what helped boost the number of servings the group shipped in 2022 was a record amount of produce donations coming into the society’s Lavington production facility, almost 1.5 million pounds. This year donations remain strong with more than 500,000 pounds received.
Phillips believes greater awareness of the Gleaners’ work and the war in Ukraine have helped boost donations.
Ukraine and Syria are two of the countries that have received Gleaners shipments so far in 2023.
As they continue their record pace of meal distribution, the Gleaners are always looking for more volunteers to help with production, particularly people available Mondays and Wednesdays.
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