The Golden Food Bank is busy gearing up for the summer, with plans to bring back the community garden and several new programs to help reduce food waste and better serve the community.
After an outpouring of support from the community allowed the food bank to feed 90 families across town throughout the Christmas season, the non-profit is looking to keep momentum going.
“Christmas was really great, we had lots of donations from businesses and families across the community,” said Ruby Allen-Powlesland, the volunteer coordinator for the food bank. “But around this time of year there aren’t many donations coming in and we have to make our resources from Christmas stretch.”
Currently, the food bank is the process of applying for grants in order to subsidize its efforts through Food Banks BC, a provincial organization that oversees food banks across B.C. whose goal is to create a hunger-free future.
One of the grants its applying for is a $1,000 grant to cover transportation fees to cover the expense of a delivery service, the food bank heavily relies on, from Calgary. Twice a year the delivery service brings in dented cans or non-perishable items that could not be sold in stores for the food bank to use with their clients.
Currently there is a similar program with a delivery service that brings perishable food items from IGA and Save-On that would otherwise not be sold and thrown in the garbage.
“It’s really important because we rely on our delivery guys that brings food here,” said Allen-Powlesland. “The delivery from Calgary is six months worth of food, so it’s really important to us.”
The food bank will also be applying for a $5 000 grant through the Tweed Collective, a social purpose initiative which funds community impacts projects across Canada. The grant will help cover the costs of supplies for the community garden this summer, as well as the cost of bringing in a gardener to help maintain the project.
The grant would help cover costs for the entire year for the food bank.
Locally, the food bank is looking for support in terms of cash and food donations, or by volunteering. It is also looking into more fundraising opportunities between now and the summer, and are looking for ideas on what those opportunities could look like.
“It’s always tough getting volunteers this time of year, because a lot of people help out around Christmas, and then the new year comes and it slows down,” she said. “This time of year we have fewer donations too.”
Allen-Powlesland also hopes to grow some of the food bank’s programs heading into the summer months, such as the program that distributes unsaleable food items to local farmers for livestock feed and compost.
Those who wish to make donations can drop off non-perishable food items during the food banks hours of operation on Mondays and Wednesday, or in the bin located outside of the building at any time.
Prospective volunteers are encouraged to reach out to the food bank personally.