14 years after opening its doors, the Lake Cowichan Food Bank has become an official charitable organization after receiving notification from Revenue Canada on Nov. 29.
Food Bank vice chair Betty Sanddar is overly excited that the Food Bank has finally made this transition. Sanddar applied for the charitable status roughly a year ago.
This means the Food Bank can now provide charitable tax receipts to those gracious enough to make cash donations. Sanddar is hoping this will greatly add to the number of donations the organization sees on an annual basis.
“I am very excited about this. We’ve only had this status for a week. Now we’re able to give tax receipts for donations. We weren’t able to before,” said Sanddar.
Sanddar thinks that making the move towards being a charity will help increase the donations they receive, especially now that the organization can provide tax receipts.
“We’re hoping it’s going to make a huge difference. It’s been a long time coming,” she added.
Sanddar said that in the past, Community Services would give the Food Bank tax receipts for the donations they would receive. month away, Sanddar recommends contacting her soon. So far, the Lake Cowichan Food Bank has received $1450 in donations so far this year.
Sanddar said the Food Bank never applied to become a charity earlier because the organization thought it might be too difficult to track down enough volunteers. However, given the volunteer driven community of Lake Cowichan, Sanddar said they decided to make the move.
For now, however, Sanddar is concerned about putting together a board of directors that she said will be in place following the Food Bank’s annual general meeting in January. She is currently the board’s vice chair.
Sanddar stressed that with the need for more board members — they currently only have six — comes the need for more volunteers.
“We do need volunteers and people to sit on our board,” she said.
Sanddar is hoping more people come forward to lend a helping hand with things such as preparing food packages now that this change has occurred.
Dianne Jay is currently a registered volunteer with the organization and will become one of the Food Bank’s newest board members following their AGM in the new year. She too, is elated to bring some input to such a valuable cause and looks forward to the challenge.
“It’s good to feel apart of the community and be able to put something in, as well as see the benefits of what you’re doing. There’s definitely a need for it out there,” said Jay.
“I’m going to be a good listener and contribute where I can. I’ve helped package hampers for a few years,” she added.
Sanddar joked that Jay has been her “partner in crime” in the Food Bank’s journey to become a charity
Sanddar encourages anyone interested in becoming a Food Bank board member or volunteer to contact her at 749-4802. Since the Food Bank’s AGM is roughly a month away, Sanddar recommends contacting her soon.