September 21, 2011

The Bounty of the Okanogan

The bounty of the Okanogan summer is part of our daily cycle at the food bank. The diversity of produce inside our walk-in cooler is truly a blessing. From local organic peppers to box-store donated corn there is plenty of nutrition available to those in need in our community. Access to seasonally fresh produce should be a basic right to everyone regardless of income, location, transportation & employment. The Okanogan food bank provides this access. This is made possible through the goodwill of our donors, the commitment of our devoted volunteers, the hard work of Community Action's Food & Nutrition Department staff, AmeriCorps VISTA & Inter-mountain volunteers.

At the peak of late summer harvest, our gleaning efforts, which include commercial orchard gleans, home garden produce, farmers market donations, local business excess and our on-site demonstration garden have provided a wide-range of fruits and vegetables. So far this week we have harvested the following:

Nectarines, Melons, Tomatoes, Green Beans, Herbs, Kale, Chard, Collard Greens, Peppers, Peaches, Zuchinni, Yellow Crookneck Squash, Red Plums, Pears & Apples

Our total gleaned produce for 2011 is currently at 14,335 pounds.
We have had a wide-array of produce donors in 2011. We have had 19 donors.
Our volunteers have logged 147 hours since August 1st; 220 from May 1st through July. Total volunteer hours to Food For All's diverse programs for the year: 396 hours.

As the last days of summer slip away into the Fall we can reflect on our efforts from this season and turn, turn turn to the harvest of the next. To everyone who has played a part in our summer success THANK YOU and enjoy the bounty!

September 11, 2011

Tree Fruit Continues: Pear Season is On!

Just when the lull in the gleaning season appeared to be longer than we wanted, the pear harvest arrived and with it, excess produce. This past week we have been at the Okanogan County Fair sharing our Food For All information with the community which also allowed us to reconnect with farmers we spoke with during the winter. A new donor located north of Omak expressed interest in having gleaners come to his orchards this coming week to harvest pears. Through outreach efforts such as the county fair these inter-community connections are possible.


Near the Omak Airport
Take Robinson Canyon Rd up past North Omak Elementary to Airport Rd, take a right onto Airport Rd until you hit the intersection for the Old Riverside Hwy. Our gleaning coordinator will be at the orchardists house directly at the intersection at 9am. The orchardist will direct us to the pear block we can glean. Please call 833-0336 if you are interested in gleaning.

PEAR GLEAN Week of the 19th TBD
Same farm same crop, day and time to be determined.