Program a ‘beautiful partnership’

A program will teach skills in preserving food for the winter.

Participants of the Tomato Canning sessions at BFISS with the Women’s Institute (WI) looking on were: (from left) Kim Stewart

By Sheila Dobie

Three local agencies have come together to offer a program that will teach skills in preserving food for the winter.

Janet Thorpe of the Sunshine Valley Women’s Institute explains. “The Sunshine Quilters held a raffle to raise funds for a good cause in the community. They approached us—the Women’s Institute—and asked if we would be the ones to find that cause.

“Around the same time we were invited to the community literacy planning event, in March 2012. We were impressed with the wide scope of literacy being addressed by the community and became particularly interested in the goal to increase food security skills for families,” Thorpe said.

Boundary Family and Individual Services (BFISS) already run food programs that work with families, and Columbian Basin Alliance for Literacy (CBAL) coordinates literacy programs with BFISS.

“It was a simple matter of creating the time and space with our families for this new idea,” said Christine Carlson, program coordinator for the CAP-C program at BFISS.

Sheila Dobie, CBAL community literacy coordinator, said, “This is a beautiful partnership, where everyone is seeing their place and making it happen. I have the wonderful job of simply connecting the people and assisting with finding the supplies needed to make it happen”.

This is also a “paying it forward” part to this project.

“The Women’s Institute wanted to see some of the food preserved go to the food bank,” Dobie said.  “So we will make sure one of the canning sessions will take place in a commercial kitchen and all of the canned food will be donated to food bank families.”

Already the community has jumped on board with a donated food dehydrator, jars and lids, and a pressure canner. Funds are being used to purchase some equipment, local food and facilitation time. Sincere thanks go out to the generous folks who have donated items.

For more information about this program, contact Dobie at




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