Gleaners continues to “Give Back”
Our 35th Anniversary was marked in 2018 for the Creston Gleaners. In 1980 Food Banks across Canada were just starting to pop up on the horizon. In 1983, Creston opened its Food Bank. It was a “temporary fix”, they said. And now 35 years later, the demand is ever more dire; the need is monumental.
The Creston Food Bank started when three concerned, caring women recognized the need to help support some of their neighbors. They began asking local farmers and orchardists for their surplus. And, they themselves could be found gleaning from the fields & trees to stock shelves to feed their neighbors. From these humble beginnings, so many years ago is where Gleaners to took its roots and today our focus is the same care for our communities.
We serve an average of 200 food hampers per month.
The Creston Valley Gleaners is the only self-funded Food Bank in Canada. That means, unlike other communities across Canada, our volunteers do not need to use their valuable time and resources fundraising on behalf of the Food Bank, the public can simply donate their good, clean, reusable items which volunteers sort, price and clean to then sell in our stores. Gleaners is the place where you can find the dandiest things: old, odd, unusual, ridiculous, one-of-a-kind, inexpensive, clean, affordable items generously donated by our community.
The Gleaners Winter Coat & Boot Sale held in typically in October, offers inexpensive prices on winter outdoor wear to ensure that every child and adult will be warm throughout the winter months.
Giving back to our community, first and foremost to the Food Bank and then to numerous other non-profit organizations, assisting the very young to the elderly throughout the valley is our focus and priority.– Executive Board
Our Food Bank cost varies from year to year, but with due diligence; shopping for the best price our total cost in 2018 was approximately $66,000.00, with previous years being a high as $100,000.00.
In 2012 we initiated the “Gleaners and Friends” program, So what is this program? From the Interfaith Food Bank in Calgary, AB we as a food bank are eligible to receive non- perishable food items and reclamation items. These food items help to supplement our food bank and provide a greater variety of food. Due the amount of food received, Gleaners in turn can support 40 other programs and agencies, providing nutritional meals/snacks reaching people from kindergarten to senior.
In 2002, after our new facility at Gleaners Too was constructed, we began to have surplus in the bank. Thus, we began making our first disbursements back to our community.
Due to the Creston Valley Gleaners being a registered charity with the Government of Canada, as a society we can only release disbursements to non-profit organizations.
1. Annually $7000 for bursaries to Prince Charles Secondary high school and the College of the Rockies.
2. Financial support was also given to the Canyon – Lister Elementary School for a group of students to take part in WE DAY – Free the Children a humanitarian organization focusing on inspiring and empowering children to create positive change, locally, nationally, and globally. Students attended workshops in Calgary and Vancouver. Students are invited to attend the concert, only receiving tickets by completing various acts of change which focus on caring for others, their environment and endangered species.
We are exceptionally proud of these young students as this ?year they were spotlighted; brought up on stage and recognized for all their local and international initiatives. CONGRATULATIONS! to students and teachers.
3. Seed monies for both our housing projects at Legacy Place and Spectrum Farms http://www.spectrumfarms.ca/.
4. Funding for the Holy Cross Catholic Church to launch a Soup Kitchen in 2018, the soup pot continues to feed many.
In our 35th year of operation we are mortgage free on all buildings and continue to fund our Food Bank, and we surpassed the one million dollar mark of giving back to our community.
Did you know?
One of our on-going concerns is the amount of items we receive, that are stained, broken and unusable. It is not in the best interest of our volunteers time to mend and or fix these items.
Did you know?
Our landfill costs run upwards of $20,000.00 annually.
Please, when you decide to bring us your donation, ask yourself is this item reusable? If it is ripped, stained, broken or missing pieces, it is not salable. And the funds used to dispose of these items could better be spent else where in our community.
Another concern is that, although we are 100 volunteers strong, we are an aging volunteer base.
Did you know?
That the average age of our dedicated volunteers is 70 +.– Executive Board
We are in a constant recruitment need of volunteers. If you, or you know of someone that is looking for a meaningful place to serve we invite you to come and take a tour our amazing facility. And if moved to do so fill out an application. We look forward to working with YOU!