Harvest Rescue kicks off the 2015 gleaning season

With such a warm spring this year, crops are ripening earlier than expected.

Harvest Rescue volunteers were out on Wednesday gleaning 60 lbs. fresh cherries from a 67 year old tree in Blewett.

The fruit was then taken to the Stepping Stones and Our Daily Bread where it was distributed amongst their customers.

Harvest Rescue is a program of the Nelson Food Cupboard that coordinates volunteers to harvest excess produce from backyard gardens in and around Nelson, and then shares the harvest with food bank and social service customers throughout Nelson.

“There are so many benefits to the Harvest Rescue program, but the most important one is getting more fresh produce into the hands, and bellies, of low income community members who cannot afford to buy sufficient quantities for themselves,” said Emily Mask, Harvest Rescue Coordinator, enthusiastically.

Mask pointed out that improving community food security, fun social outings and reducing bear-human interactions are a few other pluses to the program.

With such a warm spring this year, crops are ripening earlier than expected so Mask expects Harvest Rescue volunteers to be busy earlier than usual. They will harvest vegetables, fruit, berries or nuts from anyone who has more than they can use. The harvest is then split into thirds – one for the garden owner, one for the volunteer and one for the Nelson Food Cupboard or another social service.

If you would like to get involved with the project as a produce donor or volunteer, call Emily at (250)551-8343 or email harvestrescue@gmail.com.

Produce donors are also welcome to harvest their own excess fruit or vegetables and drop it off during the Nelson Food Cupboard’s open hours: Mondays and Wednesdays from 9 – 1. The Nelson Food Cupboard is located in the basement of the Nelson United Church at 602 Silica Street.

For more information on the Nelson Food Cupboard visit www.foodcupboard.org.

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