May 18, 2022

Wood Buffalo Food Bank moves to new location as demand for service continues to rise

Content of the article

The Wood Buffalo Food Bank (WBFB) opened in its new downtown facility on Monday as the organization continues to face growing demand for its services.

Content of the article

The new building at 10010 Centennial Drive has more warehouse space for the food bank compared to its old King Street location. Dan Edwards, executive director of the WBFB, said this space is needed as food security continues to be a problem for households in Fort McMurray Wood Buffalo.

“We are welcoming an average of about 40 new families per month and these are people who have never used the food bank before,” said Edwards. “When new people access [the WBFB] that means it pushes back appointments with existing clients, which obviously puts more stress on those clients.

The new location includes a warehouse, offices, meeting spaces and a kitchen. There are still some finishing touches, including painting and installing refrigeration units, but the building is ready to serve the community. A meeting room and kitchenette can also be used for community partnerships.

“Renting space for meetings, conferences or training is really expensive in the city,” said spokesperson Anna Noble. “We’re going to be able to loan it out to these nonprofits for free so that they can rent it out for a day and be able to offer opportunities like workshops in a used space.”

Plans for a new food bank were already in the works before the April 2020 floods. When the flood damaged the building, the food bank worked from temporary locations in Gregoire and Thickwood. Unfortunately, this left WBFB without permanent refrigeration spaces.

Content of the article

The food bank distributes around 600 food baskets per month and distributed over 1.1 million pounds of food last year. This translates to almost 18,000 people fed in a year.

Edwards said the food bank has seen demand increase over the past three years, with significant factors including the economic and social fallout from low oil prices, flooding last year and the COVID-19 pandemic. . Financial donations have remained constant throughout these hurdles, but the food bank is asking for food donations as the pandemic disrupts food drives.

“Due to COVID restrictions and the drive to keep people safe, we have had to adjust and therefore food donations have declined this year,” Edwards said.

“Fortunately, our monetary donations kept things fairly stable. Fortunately, we were able to access some government grants and other partners have stepped up their financial support to fill the gaps.

Tyler Cooke sorts food at the Wood Buffalo Food Bank’s Centennial Drive location in downtown Fort McMurray on Thursday, July 22, 2021. Scott McLean / Fort McMurray Today / Postmedia Network
Gabby Diggle sorts food at the Centennial Drive location of the Wood Buffalo Food Bank in downtown Fort McMurray on Thursday, July 22, 2021. Scott McLean / Fort McMurray Today / Postmedia Network
Gabby Diggle sorts food at the Centennial Drive location of the Wood Buffalo Food Bank in downtown Fort McMurray on Thursday, July 22, 2021. Scott McLean / Fort McMurray Today / Postmedia Network
A delivery truck with the Wood Buffalo Food Bank outside the Food Bank's Centennial Drive location in downtown Fort McMurray on Thursday, July 22, 2021. Scott McLean / Fort McMurray Today / Postmedia Network
A delivery truck with the Wood Buffalo Food Bank outside the Food Bank’s Centennial Drive location in downtown Fort McMurray on Thursday, July 22, 2021. Scott McLean / Fort McMurray Today / Postmedia Network

[email protected]


Source link