As you’ve no doubt read in recent issues of this paper, the local food bank is seeking a new location to operate out of here in town. Because the Lake Cowichan Christian Fellowship church is relocating, the food bank must look for another home by Sept. 15 of this year, a deadline that gives them a bit of reprieve from the original deadline of Aug. 30.
At the Aug. 12 Finance and Administration meeting, food bank board members presented to mayor and council as a delegation.
“Mayor and council were very receptive to our visit,” says Katherine Worsley, a food bank board member. “They will be looking into their inventory of buildings over the next couple of weeks and we will have an answer from them on Aug. 26, at their regular town meeting.”
“We have an idea for a couple of places,” says Coun. Tim McGonigle. “We are looking at all avenues, and if it’s not one of our buildings we will look elsewhere.”
Worsley says that the delegation did ask about the Ranger Station, which is up for sale, as well as the Mildred Child Annex building where the building inspector is located, but were told that council could not, at that time, discuss either of those locations.
“We would need at least 800 to 1,000 square feet,” says Worsley.
The cost of renting a building is a factor for the food bank, explains Worsley, as the monies they receive through fundraising and donations goes back into supplying food to those in need in the area.
“We do have a small pot right now.”
At a rental cost of $1,000 per month, the organization would only be able to sustain that cost for six months, and at a $600 base they would be able to last about 10 months.
“And that’s not including hydro and phone,” says Worsley. “We spend between $4,000 and $6,000 in buying the food that we need for one year.”
The food bank is hoping to raise $8,000 by Sept. 15 to help with relocation costs.
“And that’s above and beyond what we already have for our food sources,” says Worsley.
All donations over $20 receive a tax receipt.
McGonigle says that because of budgetary constraints this year the town is not able to help the food bank financially in terms of the rental costs of a facility. However, he states that mayor and council did suggest that the organization approach the town next year for a grant-in-aid.
“They do an amiable job,” says McGonigle. “And if we don’t help out those in need, we are not a very good community.”
The society is also looking to recruit people to fundraise for them on an annual basis to help with covering overhead costs.
“We are working as hard as we can, talking to anyone that we can about it. We are still accepting donations, monetary donations and food donations,” says Worsley.
She adds that if you have an overload of garden vegetables and would like to gift some of them to the food bank, please keep them refrigerated until their next distribution day, which will take place on Sept. 10.
Donations in the form of cheques can be mailed to the Lake Cowichan Food Bank Society, Box 1087, Lake Cowichan, BC, V0R 2G0. Registered society number is #80291 7278 RR0001. And if you can help in any way with finding a new location for the society, please call either Cindy Vaast at 250-749-6239, or Betty Sanddar at 250-749-4802.