Gleaners bag 5.3 million servings of soup in 2011

CAMBRIDGE, ON—What do you do after bagging more than five million servings of soup? If you're the Ontario Christian Gleaners (OCG), you celebrate.

By using excess vegetables, the ministry was able to bag enough dehydrated vegetables to make 5.3 million servings of soup in 2011—one bag of mix plus 25 litres of hot water makes about 100 servings. In 2010, OCG made 4.2 million servings and, as of mid-February, it had bagged enough for 1 million servings.

"Our volunteer base has grown," says OCG manager Shelley Stone about the organization's success. "We have 60-plus volunteers every day, five days a week."

She also says the quality of donated produce is improving, which allows production to go up.

"Our biggest need is for more sources of food in the winter. During the harvest season we can't process all that's being offered. But from March until the end of July or August, things get pretty lean."

Both to celebrate last year's efforts and raise money for its ongoing work, OCG will hold a fundraising dinner on April 21 at Rehoboth Christian School in Copetown. The event will feature dinner, entertainment, a video showing how the soup mix is used around the world and a report from the team that went to Guatemala in February and visited ministries and organizations using OCG soup mix. They are also holding an open house on November 17.

For more information go to Ontario Gleaners.

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