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Posted: May 27, 2021

Food Bank, Community Garden benefit from COTR gift

Donated garden sheds were constructed by college’s Introduction to Construction students

Two Cranbrook organizations, the Cranbrook Food Bank and Community Connections (organizers of the Community Garden) received the gift of a garden shed, thanks to students in College of the Rockies’ Introduction to Construction program.

“I want to commend College of the Rockies for their meaningful gift in support of Cranbrook Food Bank and Community Connections Society of Southeast BC,” said Nicholas Simons, Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction. “It’s a fine example of community service and will go a long way to support food security in the region.”

Offered over 17-weeks, the Introduction to Construction program, funded by the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction, gave students access to test out the construction trade in preparation of employment in the industry or further trades training at the college. Participants took part in six weeks of online learning, followed by seven weeks of hands-on safety training and building experience. Thanks to a partnership with local construction employers who provide mentoring and guidance, the program wraps up with a four-week job placement.

“Constructing these sheds was a valuable learning tool that allowed our students to apply what they had been discovering in the online components of the program to a real world project,” said Tracey Whiting, Manager of Continuing Education and Contract Training. “It’s rewarding to now see the fruits of their labour going to such worthwhile groups as the Food Bank and Community Garden.”

“What a gift! On behalf of Cranbrook Food Bank Board and volunteers, we just want to say thank you so much,” said Deanna Kemperman, Executive Director of the Cranbrook Food Bank. “We’re very appreciative of the College’s support.  Sharing a facility allows our Food Bank and Food Recovery to combine our food scraps for local Farmers, making the whole process more efficient for both our programs and the busy farmers.  Having a shed to house this Farmer’s Food is essential.  This donation couldn’t have happened at a better time!”

“Community Connections Society for Southeast BC, the Cranbrook Food Action Committee and the Public Produce Garden are grateful to the College for the donation of this shed,” added Nancy Reid, Executive Director, Community Connections Society. “It will allow us to secure the picnic tables and equipment we use to provide seating for hard working visitors to the garden.  We appreciate the college’s contribution to our garden space and food security in Cranbrook.”

Funding for the Introduction to Construction program demonstrates the Ministry of Social Development and Poverty Reduction’s commitment to providing British Columbian’s in need with a system of supports to help them achieve their social and economic potential.

Learn more about College of the Rockies at: cotr.ca

Lead image: College of the Rockies’ Introduction to Construction program has donated two sheds to the Cranbrook Food Bank and the Cranbrook Community Garden. Construction of the sheds provided a real-world project for students as they developed their skills during the course of their program. Pictured (l-r): Deanna Kemperman, Executive Director, Cranbrook Food Bank; Meredith Funston, Cranbrook Food Recovery program coordinator; Natasha Vickerd, Introduction to Construction Supervisor; Tracey Whiting, Manager, Continuing Education and Contract Training; and Evan Vogel, Introduction to Construction student. COTR photo

College of the Rockies

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