By MO CRANKER on April 29, 2019.
The Prairie Gleaners Society is celebrating a milestone this year.
Come June, the organization will be celebrating its 10th year of operation and it is celebrating a decade of sending millions of meals around the globe to those in need.
“We felt God’s leading for work like this in our area and we know that there’s people out there that needed our help,” said treasurer Louisa Smith. “In Canada we have so much more than we need and we wanted to share a bit of that abundance with those in need around the world.”
The group receives donated produce from a number of suppliers in the area that would not normally be suited for a store shelf.
Volunteer groups work five days every week at the plant in Cypress County to organize, cut, dry, bag, box and eventually ship the produce to different parts of the world in need.
“A lot of the time is just surplus product and sometimes it’s off-grade produce – meaning it may have a weird shape or a small blemish on it,” said Smith. “Since we have such great volunteer support, we can go through it piece by piece to make sure we’re using as much as possible that’s donated to us – so we can send as much as we can elsewhere.
“This is perfectly good food that we’re giving proper use.”
Smith says the organization is always amazed by how much volunteer support it receives from the community.
“It’s overwhelming in a way,” she said. “It seems that our needs are always met by people and we always have produce to work with.
“The support allows us to grow a little every year.”
The Lions Club of Medicine Hat did their part in helping the Prairie Gleaners this weekend by volunteering Saturday morning as well as donating a new bag sealer to the organization.
“That’s really big for us,” said Smith. “It gives us a really great seal and it allows us to even print a best before date on our bags.
“It’s a real step up for us and we’re thankful for their support.”