At a time when farmers are seeding this year's crops, the local charities are reaping the benefits of last year's harvest.
Moose Jaw's Farmer Direct Co-op branch has made a pair of sizable donations recently, giving pallets of red beans to both Riverside Mission and the Moose Jaw & District Food Bank.
Farmer Direct is an organic farming cooperative that started in Winnipeg in 2002. In 2015 the warehouse and shipping location opened in Moose Jaw on the 2000 block of Caribou Street West.
"We're a Canadian company," said Geoffrey Ward, the Quality Assurance and Samples Coordinator in Moose Jaw. "We have 61 farmers across the prairies growing organic crops and Farmer Direct markets their crops."
Ward says Farmer Direct has their own line of bagged products that are found on stores shelves, but not in Canada.
"The Moose Jaw facility deals in our retail product brand," he said, adding that "Whole Foods stores in the United States are one of our major distributors. We also work with Left Coast Naturals on the west coast. When we started, the only real market for our product was in the United States as there are more consumers embracing the organic trend."
Ward feels that the appetite for organic grains is increasing in Canada, and that their products will be available for purchase on Canadian shelves soon.
As for the donations, the Food Bank was very grateful when the received the call.
"At this time of year our supplies start to slow down," said Assistant Manager Deann Little. "It's a great added help right now."
Little says they don't normally get donations of raw crops, but they donation will serve a lot of purposes for clients who can use the beans to make things "like soups or stews or chili".