Volunteers at the Food Bank stand ready to distribute cherries donated through The Gleaning Project.

The bears are on their way – time to get Gleaning!

Donate your fruit to the food bank to both help keep bears away and feed people in need.

By Sue Davies, Revelstoke Bear Aware

During the unusually wet and lush early summer the bears stayed mostly out of town, but recent sightings suggest they may now be heading our way. Revelstoke Bear Aware educates residents about the importance of managing bear attractants such as fruit trees and garbage to decrease human-bear conflicts. Eating food provided by humans renders a bear food-conditioned, which can lead to the bear being destroyed in the interests of public safety.

At this time of year most bears that come into Revelstoke are adding backyard fruit to their diet. Cherry season has finished but the early plums and apples are coming on fast. If you have a fruit tree in your yard, it is a good idea to pick the fruit, along with any windfall, before the bears can gain access to it.

Revelstoke Bear Aware and Community Connections Food Bank run The Gleaning Project, which helps remove excess berries, fruit, and vegetables from the community and redirects this fresh produce to those in need through the food bank.

Residents with excess picked produce can take it directly to the food bank any Friday morning from 8 a.m. at the Royal Canadian Legion on Garden Avenue. If you cannot pick your fruit for any reason, Revelstoke Bear Aware can arrange for volunteers to harvest it and take it to the food bank for you.

The food bank is struggling to keep their cupboards full and the donations of fresh fruit and vegetables enable them to add to the nutritional value of their hampers. More and more they are finding that healthy food choices are unaffordable for some of our poorest community members. Even the most basic necessities of food are out of reach to many.

In fact, some families and seniors must choose between having a roof over their heads and eating nutritious food.

Take part in The Gleaning Project and feel rewarded that you have prevented food from going to waste, provided produce to people in need, and have helped to keep our community safe from bears! To participate in The Gleaning Project, call 250 837 8624 or email beaware@telus.net.

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