Lifestyle

Time to 'glean' house

Every year in B.C., an estimated 16 million tons of food goes to waste on farmers’ fields.

Fruits and vegetables also rot, unpicked, around backyard trees and in community gardens.

That’s where the Surrey Food Bank’s Gleaning Project comes in.

Last year, food bank volunteers gleaned more than 100,000 lbs. of surplus from farms, gardens and yards, helping supplement the diets of food bank clients.

Gleaning helps educate people about where their food comes from and how it’s grown.

It supports locally grown food, helps bring farmers and consumers together and enables friends and neighbours to work as a team to help those in our community who are in need.

Gleaning also helps keep backyards clean of rotting fruits, reducing common fruit tree pests and diseases.

Here’s how you can help:

• Make your farm or garden available for gleaning;

• Provide a cash donation;

• Volunteer your time for gleaning;

• Donate supplies such as orchard ladders, fruit pickers and totes;

• Pick and donate your backyard fruits or vegetables to the Surrey Food Bank for distribution to those in need; and

• Become a business sponsor and provide financial support or get your employees involved in project activities.

Since 1983, the Surrey Food Bank has been assisting low-income families in Surrey and North Delta by providing them with food hampers and supportive programs. The food bank serves more than 14,000 clients each month, almost half of them under the age of 18.

To get involved with gleaning this summer, register your tree or garden. Contact the Surrey food bank at 604-581-5443 or programs@surreyfoodbank.org. For more information, visit www.surreyfoodbank.org

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