This is one of a series of articles, as part of the feature called "Helpers", which focuses on people and organizations that help make our community better.
This time we talk with Glen Gravelle, General Manager of Farquhar`s Orchards Fresh Food Market on Trout Lake Road.
The crew at Orchards typically prefers to be recognized for the quality of their products and service.
'We're a specialty store. We specialize in freshness and atmosphere," says Gravelle.
The store is well-known for its high-quality produce, meats, bread, prepared meals, and more. They've built their reputation by hand-selecting the best of the best items on their twice-weekly trips to the Ontario Food Market, which is is the main food distribution centre for all of Canada.
But they were recently exposed with a high-profile post on social media for something else - their generosity.
The North Bay Food Bank recently thanked them for donating a hefty 4,775 lbs of fruits and vegetables in just the first six months of 2020. That prompted people to nominate Orchards for a "Helpers" story.
"We do like to give back to the community, but not to be recognized. We do it because it's right to help your community. We know we wouldn't be here if the community didn't support us by shopping at our store, so it only makes sense. And there's no sense in products going to waste anyway when they are still delicious and able to feed someone," he adds.
Gravelle says they usually give 100 to 200 lbs to the Food Bank each week, and a similar amount to The Gathering Place soup kitchen.
During the COVID pandemic, they've found other ways to chip in - for example, they've provided over 50 well-stocked gift baskets to local families who are struggling, after identifying the need through appropriate social agencies in the city.
Orchards is open seven days a week, at 2621 Trout Lake Road.