North Okanagan Vernon Gleaners

Food Aid

How many meals does the North Okanagan Gleaners make?
From our 2016 production year, over 5.7 million servings (over 57,000 bags) of soup mix were produced.
Where does it all come from? 
Throughout the year we receive food donations from farmers, food retailers, food distributors, and individuals.
Donations consist of fresh, dried and frozen vegetables, such as; potatoes, beets, onions, garlic, broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, tomatoes, peppers, rutabagas, lentils, peas, beans, etc. - in quantities that range from a few pounds to hundreds of thousands of pounds.
What does the final product look like?
All the food processed by NOV Gleaners is dehydrated in commercial hot air kilns. The dried vegetables are blended into a mix and are packaged in bags which produce 100 servings each. These are then packed in cardboard boxes, with each box holding twelve bags of soup or fruit.
How are the meals made?
The vegetables are cleaned and cut up into large pieces by our volunteers. Everything is then chopped into small pieces by a dicing machine, and the diced bits are spread onto pans before being loaded into the dehydrators.
The following day the dryers are emptied and the now dried soup ingredients are placed in drums, inventoried and stored in our warehouse. At the end of the year, when we have gathered a good variety of ingredients, our volunteers combine them all into a flavourful soup mix. 
Apple fruit snacks are also produced.  Similar to the process for vegetables, the apples are diced and then dried. Bagged in quantities of 40-cup servings, the fruit provides delicious and nutritious snacks.
Where does the food get distributed?
In 2016 and 2017, shipments were made to Bosnia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, North Korea, Tanzania, Ukraine and Zimbabwe.  Organizations worldwide are encouraged to fill out Food Aid application forms, and when approved they can receive food as well.
How is the food distributed around the world?
Boxes or bags of dehydrated meals are easily handled and shipped.  Organizations which apply for food aid and are approved are responsible for paying the costs of pickup and transportation. We look for organizations who have people “on the ground” to handle distribution of the food, and to avoid losses.
When does the food get processed and packaged?
As the food is received into the NOV Gleaners’ facility, it is processed in order to maximize its nutritional value.  The actual processing takes place based upon when it is received, how long it will keep in the coolers, and the availability of our volunteer members.  Generally speaking, the variety of food is seasonal with the harvest of each vegetable or fruit.

Medical Aid

Who benefits from the Medical Aid ministry?
North Okanagan Gleaners sends medical supplies and equipment to Third World countries.
What types of medical equipment are gathered?
NOV Gleaners collects and ships a wide variety of supplies; linens, wheelchairs, walkers, expired medical consumables such as bandages, compresses  and dressings, and hospital beds.
Where do the medical supplies come from?
Supplies and equipment are donated privately, through clinics, care homes and hospitals.
Why ship old supplies around the globe?
The equipment and supplies may be superseded by new technology here in North America, yet is still perfectly acceptable in other parts of the globe.  In most cases, areas that receive these medical shipments simply do not have the supplies available in any other way.
How does the equipment get cleaned and packaged?
Equipment is generally already cleaned and sterile when donated, and is in good working order.  The exception is with wheelchairs, which are sent away for refurbishment before going overseas.
When do donations come in?
Donations are received year round, and there are scheduled pickups from clinics, care homes and hospitals.  Budget year-end at hospitals tend to be busy times though, when there are increased amounts of equipment replacements and planned phasing-out of older equipment.
Why not use these donations for domestic needs within North America?
Some equipment is deemed no longer suitable for use in first-world countries, are mandated to be sent overseas by industry manufacturing regulations.  In any case, the supplies and equipment are welcomed by those receiving them.

Furniture & Appliances

What is done with donated furniture and appliances?
All donated furniture is placed for sale at our store.  We are connected with local churches, Neighbourlink, the vernon Women’s Transition House Society, the John Howard Society, NOYFSS, and others where we donate 10% of our furniture back to the local community to those that are in need.
What types of donated furniture and appliances are needed?
We accept most good quality furniture and appliances.  We can’t accept furniture from a smoker’s house, or furniture that has animal markings on it (hair or stains).
Appliances must be in good working condition, and mattresses must be relatively new with no stains or tears on them (we always inspect for bed bugs)
Where does the furniture and appliances come from?
We receive donated furniture from private donors throughout the North Okanagan.  We also receive items from local furniture businesses.
Why should people donate their furniture and appliances?
The finances generated through the store help the other North Okanagan Valley Gleaners ministries. Every $100 of donated furniture produces 5000 meals for the starving around the world.    Also, supporting our ministry is being a steward of the environment, helping save a great number of items that would otherwise be sent to the landfill.
In addition to these reasons, donating to our ministry can be much more convenient.  We have the means and the connections to move the donations efficiently… while selling privately can be a lot of work, with sometimes little reward.
How does the furniture ministry help the community?
Well, we may not be able to find housing for the homeless, but we can help furnish it (next step).
When is the store open?
Monday to Friday 9:30 am to 5:30 pm
Saturday 10 am to 4 pm
Closed on all stat holidays and the accompanying Saturday.