NEAT Canning Day benefits local foodbank

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FORT ST. JOHN, BC – Members of the Northern Environmental Action Team volunteered their time on Saturday, at The Salvation Army Food Bank, to make jam and banana bread through the NOURISH program.

Food security coordinator, Pauline Bolen, said the program, with the help of the Salvation Army, brings in food to repurpose it, which is done on days like Canning Days. 

“We’re making jams and jellies and salsas and anything you can think of that can be canned – lots and lots of spaghetti sauce – to be given out through the food bank for a greater good,” said Bolen.

The NOURISH program aims to connect food resources to people who need them most.

The program receives $5000 worth of jars every year from Home Hardware, along with food donations from The Salvation Army, local grocery stores, and local farmers.

NOURISH members canning jam. (Jordan Prentice)

“We get, what, 2000 pounds of produce every week now? Close to 3000 pounds some weeks, and that’s before farmers’ donations. We’ve had lots of great donations.”

Karen Mason-Bennett, executive director for NEAT, said the NOURISH program also aids in waste management.

“All of the food that would’ve been pulled off grocery store shelves – because there’s a rotten strawberry or one part of the bunch is bad – would have all gone into the garbage. And now it’s coming here, and we sort it and put it to use,” said Mason-Bennett.

(Left to right) Karen Mason-Bennett and Pauline Bolen.

According to Bolen, NEAT will continue to have canning days on a regular basis and need volunteers within the Fort St. John Community.

“Anytime you can come volunteer here down at nourish, we always have volunteer opportunities.”

Fort St. John community members can connect with NEAT by telephone (250 785-6328), or by sending a message through Facebook. 

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