A Revelstoke-based company recently planted trees to raise funds for the local food bank.
Planters from Fireweed Mountain Silviculture planted roughly 1,700 trees. Instead of keeping the profits at 30 cents a sapling, tree planters donated the money to Community Connections. Fireweed Mountain Silviculture decided to match the planters’ contributions, resulting in a total donation of $1,000 to the food bank.
“We hear about the challenges happening right now at the food bank and thought it’s a good thing to do,” said Renaud Paradis, owner of Fireweed Mountain Silviculture.
Community Connections said since the start of the pandemic, demand at the food bank has tripled.
During the month of May, the food bank served 1,700 people in Revelstoke.
“It’s a big number,” said Patti Larson, director.
Larson said people from all walks of life are accessing the food bank and there are plenty of new faces.
Despite COVID-19, the province has approved large reforestation efforts this summer. Roughly 5,000 tree planters from across Canada are expected to head into B.C.’s interior forests.
The efforts include planting approximately 310 million seedlings across the province to replace trees destroyed by wildfires, pine beetle infestations and increase carbon capture.
Some communities, such as Nadleh Whut’en First Nation in central B.C, has banned tree planting within its territory in an effort to keep COVID-19 out of its community.
Paradis said his tree planting crew already live and work in Revelstoke. However, there are changes. For example, crews travel in pods, staying with the same people through the summer. While driving into the field, Paradis said crews wear masks.
There are handwashing stations in the field and workers change into clean clothes before driving back together at the end of the day.
“In the past, people came home dirty after tree planting. Now, we’re going to come back pretty clean,” said Paradis.
Fireweed Mountain Silviculture has operated in the Revelstoke area for 17 years.
Larson said financial donations to the food bank are essential as it allows the organization to buy what’s needed from diary, vegetables and meat to tofu, hummus, laundry soap and kid’s snacks.
“We’re trying to fill the gaps,” she said.
The food bank said they are aiming to buy local when possible, such as meat from Greenslide Cattle Company.
Community Connections has amalgamated the food bank and food recovery program, offering food in the alley behind their building from 11 a.m to noon, Monday to Friday.
Community Connections said people can make donations on their website or by sending e-transfers to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shoppers can also add $2 to their grocery bills at Save-On-Foods and Southside as a donation to the food bank.