Food Bank scrambling as they search for new location

The Lake Cowichan Food Bank, which has been desperately scouting around for a new home, now has a deadline looming.

The Lake Cowichan Food Bank, which has been desperately scouting around for a new home, now has a deadline looming.

By the end of February 2016, they must be out of the Mildred Child Annex — a building owned by the Town of Lake Cowichan — which they had been using on a 10-month contract that winds up this month before continuing on a month-to-month basis.

“We knew this was coming but it doesn’t make it good,” said foodbank spokesperson Betty Weberg Sanddar. “It makes me very sad. We picked up the mail and saw we were getting four months notice. Nobody seems to want us. ”

The group has already knocked on almost every door in the area trying to find a new home, Sanddar told Lake Cowichan town councillors recently.

The reason for the notice to quit is that the Town of Lake Cowichan has been re-assessing what to do with all its buildings, and one of the ideas being floated was to flatten the annex, which has served as public library, town council chambers, and building inspection headquarters among other uses.

According to Town CAO Joe Fernandez, demolition plans are now ready to move forward.

“We do anticipate [the Mildred Child Annex] coming down. We’re moving forward with some engineering items now,” he said.

One location nearby — the old Logger Hut restaurant building — may be an option at some point in the future but nothing has been decided about its use yet.

Sanddar said her group is hoping for a chance at some space there.

However, the building, unused for many years and lately donated to the town, is attracting wide interest, according to Fernandez.

“That’s something that the Food Bank has asked for but there are a bunch of other groups that have also asked for that space so we have no firm plans yet. We’re also looking at whether it’s fit for habitation yet. It also all depends on what council decides at the end of the day who should have use of the building,” he said.

“The arrangement with the donors was that it be used ‘for the good of the town’, but not by any one particular group alone. We have to look at all those considerations, too,” Fernandez said.

Sanddar said late Saturday that she’s decided to try a new avenue for assistance.

“I’m going to approach Greg Adams. He’s bringing Sunfest to the Lake. He says he wants to help us. What can it hurt to ask?” she said.