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Around Town: Non-profits helping one-another

Salvation Army cow 2
Salvation Army Executive Director Jared Braun, NEAT Executive Director Karen Mason, and food security coordinator Becky Belle, with the packaged beef Salvation Army is donating to NEAT.

NEAT's Nourish program, and Meals on Wheels, have a full cow's worth of beef to work with, thanks to a fellow non-profit fighting the same fight. The Fort St. John Salvation Army donated the beef to NEAT July 26.

"We've been fortunate with grants from Agricultural Canada to have funds available to purchase beef for the food bank. We have a great partnership with NEAT already, and saw that they had a need for beef, so we wanted to donate this cow to contribute to all hunger needs," said Salvation Army Executive Director Jared Braun. 

Braun said they gave the donation to show that no one needs to go hungry in Fort St. John. 

"With programs like NEAT's Meals on Wheels and the food bank we operate, and all the community support for our organizations, people can know their needs will be met," Braun said. 

Karen Mason-Bennett, Neat's executive director, was blown away by the gesture. 

"I was really taken aback. The partnership we\ve built with the Salvation Army for almost two years now has been very positive for both sides. We're always looking for ways to support each other and our goals are exactly the same, it doesn't make sense to have competitions," Mason-Bennett said. 

"This helps immensely to ensure recipients are getting a high quality meal for a price that is feasible."

The meat comes from a locally-raised cow and  was prepared by a local butcher.

The partnership between the two organizations sees NEAT run their kitchen for the Nourish program out of the Salvation Army Food Bank. Certain items donated to the food bank have shorter health live, or need to be prepared and preserved, so NEAT will do things like can tomatoes and prepare salsa so that the donated food can be utilized efficiently. 

Becky Belle, NEAT's food security coordinator, said out of the 10,000 lbs of food donated to Nourish so far, 4,000 lbs have gone back into fresh meals programs like Meals on Wheels, and 2,000 lbs of food have gone back onto the food bank shelves. 

Email reporter Dillon Giancola at

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