Nature’s Fare delivers Christmas food, cash to B.C. food banks

Nature’s Fare Markets’ Tara Berger (left) and Brandon Molzahn (right), present a cheque to Neil S. Thompson (middle) of the Salvation Army Food Bank in Vernon. (Contributed)Nature’s Fare Markets’ Tara Berger (left) and Brandon Molzahn (right), present a cheque to Neil S. Thompson (middle) of the Salvation Army Food Bank in Vernon. (Contributed)
Trina Speiser, director of development, Central Okanagan Food Bank (second from right), receives a cheque from Nature’s Fare Markets team members Darrell Jones (from left), Suzi Oberkirsch, Andre Desrosiers and Allison Wormell. (Contributed)Trina Speiser, director of development, Central Okanagan Food Bank (second from right), receives a cheque from Nature’s Fare Markets team members Darrell Jones (from left), Suzi Oberkirsch, Andre Desrosiers and Allison Wormell. (Contributed)
Alex Grant, Nature’s Fare Markets store manager (left), presents a cheque to Maj. Paul Trickett (centre) and Alan Madsen, director, community ministries, of the Salvation Army Food Bank in Penticton. (Contributed)Alex Grant, Nature’s Fare Markets store manager (left), presents a cheque to Maj. Paul Trickett (centre) and Alan Madsen, director, community ministries, of the Salvation Army Food Bank in Penticton. (Contributed)
Nature’s Fare Markets’ Jon Silen (left) and Gerald Munts (right), present a cheque to Jim Calamunce (middle) of the Langley Food Bank. (Contributed)Nature’s Fare Markets’ Jon Silen (left) and Gerald Munts (right), present a cheque to Jim Calamunce (middle) of the Langley Food Bank. (Contributed)
Nature’s Fare Markets’ Lila Zias (left) presents a cheque to Jaye Murray, program manager, Sources Food Bank, serving White Rock and South Surrey. (Contributed)Nature’s Fare Markets’ Lila Zias (left) presents a cheque to Jaye Murray, program manager, Sources Food Bank, serving White Rock and South Surrey. (Contributed)
From left to right, Nature’s Fare Markets’ Gary Innis and Leyla Johnson (from left) present a cheque to Kamloops Food Bank’s Bernadette Siracky, executive director, and Kelley Bossert, director. (Contributed)From left to right, Nature’s Fare Markets’ Gary Innis and Leyla Johnson (from left) present a cheque to Kamloops Food Bank’s Bernadette Siracky, executive director, and Kelley Bossert, director. (Contributed)

At a time when so many are struggling to make ends meet, the Nature’s Fare Markets community has risen to the challenge to help feed those in need.

The organic grocery and wellness chain’s seven B.C. stores have already collected more than 12,000 pounds of food bundles donated by customers — eclipsing the 8,000 pounds of food raised last year.

“We have an amazing community. It’s heartwarming to see our customers’ generosity and to be a part of getting that food to the people who need it most,” said Michael Sherwood, CEO, of the bundles that are available in stores to donate until Dec. 24. “We know there’s so much on pressure on food banks right now as people turn to them for help, so we wanted to support our local food banks as much as possible this holiday season.”

In addition to the bundles of food donated by customers, Nature’s Fare donated $60,000 to food banks in the communities it serves. At a time when non-profits and local producers, as well as individuals, are challenged with rising prices, Nature’s Fare continued to support causes and communities ‘close to home’ in 2022.

Locally, the following donations were made:

FOOD BANKS

Cash donations: $60,000

• Vernon Salvation Army – $10,000

• Central Okanagan Food Bank – $10,000

• Penticton Salvation Army – $10,000

• Langley Food Bank – $10,000

• Sources Food Bank in White Rock – $10,000

• Kamloops Food Bank – $10,000

This year, stores got an earlier start to setting out the prepared food bundles of everything from peanut butter and jam to baby care and breakfast essentials. So far, customers across B.C. stores have picked up and donated more than $25,000 worth of food. With food bank bundles still available until Christmas Eve, that total will continue to grow.

More than $54,000 was also donated through the three per cent club for non-profits. Groups such as day cares, school parent councils and extra-curricular activity groups collect their receipts and get a cheque for three per cent of their pre-tax total as a tax-free donation.

“These are often very small and very hard-working local non-profits doing the important and often invisible work that improves everyday living for young families, so it’s a joy for us to help give these clubs a hand up and thank them for supporting our stores,” said Sherwood.

A $5,000 donation was also made to the certifying body of organic foods, Organic BC, supports producers making the transition to become certified organic growers and advocates for a resilient organic sector in B.C.

“Environment and sustainability is so important to the Nature’s Fare Markets community,” says Sherwood. “As is wellness and food security, so during these tough times, we’re proud to be a part of supporting local business in local communities.”

READ MORE: Nature’s Fare supports list of causes in Vernon

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roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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