Shirley Cochrane (left), Tina Nieuwenhuizen and Maye Cann tending to the HOPE garden in July 2018. (Marlene Martens photo)

Hope grows for Shuswap foodbanks thanks to modest volunteers

Secret garden donated 1,100 pounds of vegetables produced last year

A garden powered by goodwill and green thumbs has donated more than 1,000 pounds of fresh produce to the hungry.

HOPE garden, which stands for Helping Other People Eat, is the idea that Maye Cann pitched to St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church two years ago. The idea took root and since then, Cann has watered, weeded, harvested and hauled the vegetables grown in the garden to the Second Harvest Food Bank.

Read more: In photos: Garden starter

Read more: Koi fish return to Chinese garden, 6 months since ‘otterpocalypse’

Janet Hanna, a long time friend of Cann, is acutely aware of her friend’s modesty but wanted to highlight her efforts all the same.

“It was Maye’s idea and she does a lot of the work and she doesn’t like blowing her own horn at all, but all the produce goes to second harvest and that is such a need of the community,” Hanna said.

The garden grows potatoes, carrots, beets, onions and other long lasting root vegetables that are household staples. Last year the garden netted 1,100 pounds of fresh produce and, after an expansion was made this year, volunteers are hoping to produce between 1,400 and 1,500 pounds of vegetables for donation.

Ena van Zoeren, the minister at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church, notes the garden is helping to solve a challenge commonly faced by food banks.

“They get a lot of things like canned goods and things like Kraft Dinner, baked beans,” said Zoeren. “They don’t often accept fresh produce but if you grow your own and bring it in they will gladly take it.”

The location of the HOPE garden remains a secret as St. Andrew’s has been victim to several burglaries. A less well-kept secret, however, is another waste food redistribution organization, The North Okanagan Valley Gleaners Society, where she volunteers every Thursday.

Read more: Garden party supports Mamas for Mamas

Read more: Okanagan micro-garden proposed to provide wineries with fresh vegetables

Zoeren also knows of Maye Cann’s modesty, acknowledging that Cann did plant the seed for the project but the garden has become something bigger for the church.

“It’s a big part of who St. Andrew’s is to reach out into the community, and we really can’t think of a much better way to do this than by feeding the people that are hungry,” Zoeren said.

Although the HOPE garden is working to provide more people with fresh produce, Zoeren would like to see the entire town work for the same cause.

“If you’re interested in this ministry and you have your own garden, why not plant an extra row of carrots or an extra row of potatoes for the food bank,” she said.


@SalmonArm
newsroom@saobserver.net

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Valdy gives volunteers a hand after Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival

Celebrated Canadian singer pitched in alongside starstruck clean-up crew

Robbery tactic used on Salmon Arm senior not uncommon

RCMP advice comes after credit cards stolen at Walmart parking lot

Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival exceeds expectations

Artists, attendees and organizers praise effort behind successful event

Founder of Salmon Arm’s sister city exchange helps welcome Inashiki visitors

Twenty three Japanese guests visit city for a week, Salmon Arm to return in March

New attractions, rides and more lined up for Salmon Arm Fair

Event organizers invite community to be part of the growth

Memorial grows for teen who drowned in Okanagan Lake

Jaxsn Cahill drowned at Gellatly Bay Park in West Kelowna on Aug. 17

Clean the house, prep for your next trip: Tips to nix the post-vacation blues

48 per cent of travellers are already stressed about ‘normal life’ while still on their trip

Latino-American rock ‘n’ roll band The Mavericks coming to the Okanagan

Kelowna is the only B.C. stop on the band’s worldwide tour

More women may need breast cancer gene test, U.S. guidelines say

Recommendations aimed at women who’ve been treated for BRCA-related cancers and are now cancer-free

Couple could go to jail for taking 88 lbs. of Italian sand

Pair said they didn’t know it was illegal to take the sand, which is protected as a public good

‘Ghost bike’ memorial installed where Okanagan cyclist was killed by truck

Ernie Gabbs, 69, died at the corner of Dillworth Drive and Harvey Avenue in Kelowna on Aug. 12

It’s back! Aritzia releases annual warehouse sale dates

Your favourite summer end sale is back and ready to take your money

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft: RCMP

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Most Read