Kiwanis chips in for Gleaners’ new cooler

Kiwanis chips in for Gleaners’ new cooler

The Kiwanis Club of Oliver (represented by Larry Larson on right), has donated $10,000 to the Okanagan Gleaners (represented by Greg Masson in green) to help build a new drive-in cooler. (Photo by Lyonel Doherty)

By Lyonel Doherty

The Okanagan Gleaners are one step closer to their goal of establishing a new cooler system thanks to the Kiwanis Club of Oliver.

Kiwanis has just donated $10,000 towards the project.

“They (Gleaners) do fantastic work and we are only too happy to support them,” said Larry Larson.

“It comes from the heart and all the people who support the market.”

Bill Saul, Gleaners board chair, said they are in the midst of a fundraising drive to build a $120,000 drive-in cooler to support their operations to feed the world’s hungry.

Saul explained they are currently using two refrigerated trailers to keep their vegetables cool, but these units cost a lot of money to operate and use diesel fuel.

“We want to reduce our carbon footprint and make our operation more efficient and more cost effective,” Saul said.

Not only will it be easier to keep their vegetables fresher, the cooler will be more environmentally friendly.

Saul said the $10,000 donation is a tremendous help because it brings the Gleaners closer to their goal (they now have $70,000 saved for the new unit).

Saul said the new cooler will allow them to drive their lift trucks inside and pick up bins, which is more efficient than before.

Saul said this winter has been a good one for the number of volunteers that have been helping out – 20 to 25 a day. He noted that one group of 15 snowbirds from the Holiday Inn have been volunteering over the winter season.

General manager Greg Masson said two families, one from Saskatchewan and one from Edmonton, are planning to move here.

“Winter in Oliver is way nicer than winter in southeast Saskatchewan,” he chuckled.