Grow a Row to Share campaign launches in Port Alberni

The Salvation Army in Port Alberni has launched Grow a Row to Share in connection with Hunger Awareness Week (May 7-11).

The Salvation Army in Port Alberni has kicked off a new campaign designed to increase fresh produce for the food bank and foster goodwill in the community. Grow a Row to Share encourages gardeners to plant an extra row in their gardens this summer to share their vegetable bounty with others through the food bank.

Salvation Army Major Bruce MacKenzie was at the Harbour Quay Farmer’s Market on Saturday morning (May 5) handing out seed packets, Grow a Row garden stakes and information on the campaign.

In Port Alberni, more than 500 families and individuals look to the Salvation Army food bank to help them through touch times. Fresh produce is one of the hardest things for food banks to provide and is often one of the last thing low income families can afford, MacKenzie said.

Grow a Row gives families an opportunity to eat wholesome, fresh produce and a balanced, nutritional diet, he said.

“We had quite a few people stop by and a number of people volunteer to take seeds and grow vegetables,” MacKenzie said. There are still some seed packets and stakes available at the Salvation Army office on Fifth Avenue at Redford Street. The Salvation Army welcomes any extra vegetables grown this summer, not just those from seeds the Army has provided, he added.

“One of the natural results of this isn’t about putting food in grocery baskets, it’s about growing community,” MacKenzie said.

The Salvation Army and other stakeholders in the health care field have discussed the correlation between obesity and diabetes and the growing reliance on food banks, and in Port Alberni are making an effort to ensure food bank clients get a balanced diet.

That doesn’t just mean providing fresh fruit and vegetables, it also means giving the tools to people to teach them how to eat well. “It’s wanting more fresh vegetables in the food bank, for sure,” MacKenzie said. “But it’s also an investment in the community. When kids have access to fresh, wholesome food in their diet their physical and cognitive development is boosted.

“That simple act will pay dividends 15, 20 years from now. It’s actually investment in children in the community as much as anything else.”

In addition to launching Grow a Row the Salvation Army is also hosting a seminar later this week for food bank clientele on container gardening. The 23 people who have signed up so far will learn how to create a container garden and how to care for their plants, MacKenzie said.

For more information on Grow a Row, please call the Salvation Army at 250-723-6913, or visit their Facebook page at facebook.com/growarow2012.

Vegetables can be dropped off Monday through Thursday at the food bank on Fourth Avenue at Redford Street. MacKenzie reminds people that Tuesday and Thursday afternoons are busy as they are distribution days.

Just Posted

Home care complaints up 45% on Vancouver Island

Number of home care hours delivered down 6%, complaints up 45 %

Alberni group focuses on stigmatization as biggest barrier to opioid crisis

Community session planned to raise dialogue on opioid crisis response

Cherry Creek firefighters mourn former deputy chief

Brian Brick is the second Alberni Valley firefighter to die of work-related cancer in January

Port Alberni to consider the future of McLean Mill

City council will be holding a committee of the whole meeting on Jan. 21

VIDEO: Here’s what the B.C. legislature officers are accused of buying

Personal trips, purchases, alcohol and more laid out in 76-page report by Plecas

Why would the B.C. legislature need a firewood splitter?

First sign of police involvement in investigation of top managers

New Canada Food Guide nixes portion sizes, promotes plant-based proteins

Guide no longer lists milk and dairy products as a distinct food group

Judge annuls hairdresser’s forced marriage to boss’ relative

Woman was told she’d be fired if she didn’t marry boss’s Indian relative so he could immigrate here

Liberals look to make home-buying more affordable for millennials: Morneau

Housing is expected to be a prominent campaign issue ahead of October’s federal election

Cannabis-carrying border crossers could be hit with fines under coming system

Penalties are slated to be in place some time next year

Man accused of threatening to kill ‘as many girls as I see’

Christopher W. Cleary wrote he was angry because he’d never had a girlfriend and wanted to ‘make it right’ with a mass shooting

Canadian talent abound on newly revamped Vancouver Whitecaps squad

Lineup is full of new faces after the organization parted ways with 18 players over the off-season

Most Read