Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Nutri-Lawn Kelowna's re:nourish program collects over 2000lbs for local food bank

Local company ensures Kelowna food bank’s shelves filled for the next week

Tuesday, October 6th, 2009 | 11:00 am
food bank's shelves kept full for a week thanks to a local business

The food bank's shelves were kept full for a week thanks to a local business. (Photo Kathy Michaels)

By Kathy Michaels

Usually they make sure local lawns are kept healthy, but recently the staff at Nutri-lawn turned their attention to families in need.

Over the month of September, Nutri-lawn staff took it upon themselves to collect food items from their customers as they visited their houses to do fall fertilizer treatments — and when all was said and done the local foodbank found itself 2,400 lbs of food richer.

“When we finished loading up our trucks today we had two full loads of food,” said Kevin MacKenzie, sales and customer experience manager Nutri-Lawn Okanagan.

Upon reaching the food bank, he learned the two truck loads would translate into 250 hampers or one and a half to two weeks worth of food supplies.

As a franchise, Nutri-lawn has a give back program in its communities and each is encouraged to do food drives. It was something that was going to fall to the wayside this year, but when news of the fires and the food bank’s struggles to keep their shelves filled pierced their consciousness, they made the decision to move forward.

They contacted their customers, and the project took on a life of its own.

“About 50 per cent, or 600 to 700 families, gave us food,” said MacKenzie. “Each guy was bringing in 70 to 100 lbs of food a day, and by the end we had 51 banana boxes full.”

Now that MacKenzie has realized that the effort was so easy, he’s hoping other businesses will take the charge and help fill the food bank’s shelves.

“We really weren’t sure what to expect but everyone who did it was surprised by how easy it was to give back to the community,” he said.

In addition to this effort, the company also sends a team abroad every year to do work that may otherwise be ignored. Last year a team went to the Dominican Republic and built a soccer field for a community that would have gone without.

And, MacKenzie said, the reward of community involvement both at home and away is irreplaceable.

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