Kelowna Backyard Undertaking grows meals for kids in want – Okanagan

Food For Thought’s first annual fundraiser for Birdhouse and Butterfly gave locals the opportunity to buy hand-painted items to decorate home gardens and raise funds for the nonprofit that keeps children in Central Okanagan from starving.

“We saw kids come to school on a Monday morning without having eaten all weekend, which is unimaginable at the Central Okanagan,” said Cheryl Hoffman, project manager for Food For Thought.

Food For Thought offers breakfast programs in Lake Country, Kelowna, and West Kelowna, and its backpacking program, which sends kids off for the weekend with a bag of healthy food, has more than doubled.

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“Over the past year, I can say that our volunteers have never worked harder and our community has never worked harder to meet growing needs,” said Hoffman.

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“As Kelowna grows, [as well as] the cost of food, it’s just gotten harder, so we’re growing food now. “

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In their garden on Helen’s Acres in the heart of Kelowna, they have harvested fresh lettuce, basil, radishes and soon peas to add to the students’ lunches. The garden space was a pandemic project that has proven fruitful.

“Because of COVID, there was nothing we did [like] traveling, doing other things, so we spent many hours here, ”said Marilyn Block, Food For Thought volunteer.

“It is just amazing to see how much this garden has grown since mid-March and the [food] in the backpacks and is amazing too, ”said Barb Carpenter, Food For Thought volunteer.

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The funds raised through the latest fundraiser will help build more accessible garden boxes to produce even more food for the growing number of children who go to school with light packed lunches.

The garden boxes can be dedicated to anyone who wants to donate, for more information visit their website

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