Food Bank, Community Garden benefit from College of the Rockies gift

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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.

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.

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About College of the Rockies

For more than 45 years, College of the Rockies has provided post-secondary education that meets the needs and aspirations of the people, industry and businesses of our region. Each year, we welcome more than 10,000 full-time and part-time students into a full range of programs, including: skilled trades, university studies, adult upgrading, early childhood education, health and human services, business, office administration, tourism, hospitality, recreation, fire services, continuing education and contract training. Through smaller class sizes, highly-personalized instruction and dedicated support services, our students are primed to succeed in the job market, or in the next stage of their academic journey.

Media Contact:
Deborah Carty
Vice President, External Relations
College of the Rockies