Christmas will be a little brighter and healthier for thousands of B.C. and Alberta food bank clients this year, thanks to the generosity of a local orchard.
About 10 tons of crisp, juicy apples were shipped by Shukin Orchards this week, destined for food banks in Calgary, Edmonton, the Lower Mainland, Cranbrook, Kimberley and, of course, Creston.
“Larry Martel of Overland West Freight Lines Ltd. organized the free delivery,” Cathy Shukin said on Monday as pallets, each containing about 1,200 pounds of fruit that might otherwise go to waste in a market that doesn’t place a high value on B.C. apples.
Each pallet is labelled with a simple, computer-generated sign that reads, “Merry Christmas from Shukin Orchards Ltd. Creston BC & Overland West Freight Lines Ltd.”
This isn’t the first year that Shukin Farms has made large donations to food banks, and the demand at food banks hasn’t eased.
To make it even easier for the apples to be distributed, Shukin said her family members were joined by volunteers Jodi Anderson, Donna Cornell, Claude Pelletier, Carol Tremblay and Joe Esler.
“We spent four days packing the apples in five-pound bags,” she said.
Looking on as Creston Parcel and Delivery owner Richard Hills loaded his truck with pallets, Shukin said making the donations is an easy decision.
“Otherwise the apples are left to rot or to attract more deer into the area,” she said.