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November 17, 2016 12:00 AM

IN THE EYES OF THE BEHOLDER Director of the Olive Tree, Becky Schille, stands with Lisa and David Gratton, who made a sizeable donation of potatoes to the organization after realizing they grew more than they could eat for the winter. JAIME POLMATEER LLS PHOTO

Couple donates boxes of taters to those in need

If you have a little extra, why not spread the wealth?
That was the mentality of local farmers, David and Lisa Gratton, when they realized they grew more potatoes than they could eat this year and decided to share the surplus with some local not-for-profits.
The Gratton’s boxed up the extra produce and donated it to the Libby Young Centre, a local church, the Native Friendship Centre and the Olive Tree.
“We just grew too many potatoes, more than we would ever need for our own personal use at home, so we just thought we’d spread it around and share the wealth to organizations that need it more than we do,” said David, who was reluctant to speak about his charitable act.
“I don’t know how many pounds, but we’re giving away seven boxes.”
The Grattons, who own Active Wellness Solutions in Lloydminster, have an acreage southwest of Kitscoty, and because the perpetual lagging economy can’t make financial donations to charities, they thought the next best thing would be to donate anyway they can—surplus food from their garden.
Lisa said the couple is used to having three grown kids at home, but after one of them moved out and the other two started spending more time away from the nest, they ended up overshooting the amount of taters they needed for the year and were left with a hefty abundance.
“It feels good,” David said, talking about the ability of his food donation to help others.
“They’ll fill some bellies, so that’s the main thing, that’s what counts—don’t want to waste them.”
Lisa added, “It’s just something that, if we’re not going to use them, it’s better to give them to someone who will.”
Becky Schille, director of the Olive Tree, said Lloydminster is an awesome and generous community, and without help from people like the Grattons, the organization wouldn’t be able to feed as many hungry people as they do.
The Olive Tree is a not-for-profit created to reconnect isolated people and families to communities of support by providing human services in the areas of homelessness, hunger relief and education.
The organization runs three community meals per week, three seniors luncheons, and a mom’s group meal, totalling seven hot meals in seven days, as well as gives food to various shelters, Metis housing and any other group that needs food support.
“The schools come in, like (Lloydminster Comprehensive High School), and so they come in and take whatever they need each week; I have two schools on Mondays, three on Tuesdays, each school takes a different amount.
“Like one, for example, takes 300 lbs every week for their breakfast programs, their lunch programs, sometimes they send it home with kids if they know there’s a need there,” Schille said, plainly grateful for the Gratton’s donation that’ll go toward the initiatives she’s explaining.
“There’s no way we could do what we’re doing if it wasn’t for the donations of the community; there’s no way.”

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