Marc Schutzbank, who heads the Fresh Roots student-farming programs, received $13,000 from charity-funding Give A Damn founder Martin McNish.

By MALCOLM PARRY / PNG for the Vancouver Sun

DAMN RIGHT: Odlum Brown portfolio manager Martin McNish and others gave charity giving a new twist in 2016 by sparkplugging the Give A Damn program. At quarterly events, twenties-to-forties-aged members each put up $100 and vote on pitches by three charities’ representatives. In the Yaletown’s Earls loft recently, Fresh Roots ( executive director Marc Schutzbank, 32, received a $13,000 pot swelled by attendees and McNish’s friend Martin Jones, the San Jose Sharks goaltender. Schutzbank, whose wife Ilana Labow co-founded Fresh Roots in 2009, said elementary and secondary students grow food at educational farms on several schools’ grounds, learn to cook it and see it go to cafeterias, food-access programs and suchlike. “When kids are outside and growing something, they also find success in the classroom, and their confidence increases,” said U.S.-native Schutzbank who came to UBC in 2010 on a Fulbright scholarship. “If they grow it, they will eat it,” he said of Fresh Roots’ students. Canada, he added, “is the only G7 nation without a federal school-meals program.” He and Labow have a first and presumably healthy-eating child due Jan. 11.

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