A new program has nourished a community.
Enderby Harvest Sharing Hut has concluded its inaugural season of collecting surplus fruit and vegetables and distributing them to those in need.
“We’ve been making connections with people,” said Mary Anne Domarchuk, a public health nurse with the Interior Health Authority.
“There’s been lots of community and recognizing each other, being able to say hello on the street.”
An average of 78 people a week were served by the Harvest Sharing Hut every Monday between June 29 and early October.
About 3,386 kilograms or 3.72 tonnes of produce was handed out.
“That’s slightly smaller than an adult African elephant,” said Domarchuk.
On average, 225 kilograms of fruits and vegetables were donated.
“That’s from the farmers market and people bringing in extra produce,” said Domarchuk.
“The purpose of the hut was to feed people but also to make sure food doesn’t go to waste. A lot of food goes to waste.”
A core group of volunteers kept the program running, while financial assistance from community organizations helped with the purchase of a shed, which was set up on Maud Street.
Among those relying on the hut were more than 600 seniors.
“It’s extremely concerning,” said Raquel Knust, an Enderby councillor, on the level of poverty in the community.
“When I first got involved, I didn’t recognize the issues we’re facing in the community with food security.”
With the Sharing Hut now closing for the season, Enderby’s Food Action Committee for Today’s Tomorrow is looking to next year and other opportunities to help residents.
“This was our first action and there is a greater need,” said Knust.