The Salvation Army boosted their FRESH FROM THE FARM youth harvesting and preserving program thanks to a Community Foundation of the South Okanagan Similkameen grant.
FRESH FROM THE FARM runs throughout the harvest season, from July to October, taking groups of youth out to orchards and gardens in the South Okanagan Similkameen to glean fruits and vegetables for the food bank.
Youth, ages 10 to 16, who volunteer with the program gain important work skills, a sense of community responsibility, the opportunity to learn from the farmers and growers, their food safe level one certification as well as the opportunity to learn how to can, juice, pickle and dehydrate local fruits and vegetables in the community kitchen.
In 2014, FRESH FROM THE FARM had its third year with cherry picking at the Campbell family orchard on Valley View Road in Penticton and worked all the way through the season, to harvesting pears and apples at the Mennell’s Orchards in Cawston. Youth may help out on just a few of the day-trips or as many as they wish.
The FRESH FROM THE FARM program is a collaboration between The Salvation Army’s Community Food Bank and the First Baptist Church’s Friday night youth group, The Ark.