This summer, the SWO Gleaners is fortunate to have four student summer job placements through Canada’s Summer Jobs Program. Having 4 extra employees for 8 weeks allows us to produce more dried food, and helps fill gaps in vacation time for staff and regular volunteers. We have a good group of guys this year.
Thank you, Noah, Miguel, Youssef, and Mahmoud for all your work this summer!
In April, our Province experienced the 3rd wave of the COVID-19 pandemic. Stay-at-home orders were issued as variants of the first virus started spreading. As an essential food processor, the SWO Gleaners made the decision to stay open, but with even greater protocols. Reducing the number of volunteers per shift, and ensuring social distancing, we remained open.
As Ontario keeps progressing out of this pandemic and continues to open up, we are gradually increasing our volunteer numbers. Production continues in the safest manner. We encourage past and future volunteers to come and join us! We feel fortunate that our facility has stayed COVID free and we continue to maintain a safe work environment. Thank you, volunteers!
*** The SWO Gleaners encourages all volunteers and supporters to get their vaccines when it is their turn. Together, our community will stay safe and get through this unusual time! ***
Food to Jamaica and Rwanda
Through our Distribution Partners, the dehydrated vegetable mix has recently been shipped to Rwanda and Jamaica. Canadian Food for Children distributes food, clothing, and other items to over 20 different countries in the world including Jamaica. Loads of Love is another of our distributors who recently has brought our soup mix to Liberia and Rwanda. We are grateful that surplus produce from Southwestern Ontario can be used to aid people all around the world. (Pictured is a young recipient in Jamaica).
2021 Production Statistics
Though COVID-19 has slowed us down, we were fortunate to be able to distribute over 2.8 million servings of dehydrated vegetable mix and apple snacks to both local and international food aid agencies in 2020. So far 1.4 million servings have been distributed in 2021. This number will increase substantially as the year goes on as we have stocked several months’ worth of dried potatoes. Summer will bring carrots to our production line, which will then be packaged with potatoes and distributed. In the picture below, volunteers process carrots from PierC Produce and Peppers from Nature Fresh. Thank you to all our donors who donate unmarketable produce to help other people!
To learn more about the Southwestern Ontario Gleaners or to make a donation, please visit our website www.swogleaners.ca, or look us up on social media.
Volunteers are always needed! We would love to hear from you! Call us to see how you can make a difference in our community and around the world through the Southwestern Ontario Gleaners!
Contact: Joel Epp, General Manager 519-326-7687 or [email protected]
2021 Board of Directors: Tamara Stomp (Chair), Phil Farbota (Vice-Chair), Tina Quiring (Treasurer), Alison Klassen (Secretary), Susan Ross, David Dent, Dave Campbell, Art Krueger, Greg Tiessen, John Riedl, and Vern Toews