TRURO – In just a few short months, the Colchester Food Bank could be in its new, permanent home.
Don Reid, chairman of the board of the directors of the Colchester Community Support Society, which operates as the Colchester Food Bank, said he and others are excited about the building that’s quickly taking shape at 580 Prince Street.
“And we want the community to get excited too,” said Reid, during the official unveiling of the build. “We’ve been working on this for a few years.”
It was back in 2015 when the food bank’s building on Lorne Street became unusable and operations moved into a temporary space on the Esplanade. The town had offered the Lorne Street property, however the society decided on a different route.
“We had looked into the property, but the cost of building new, and the size and shape of the lot made things awkward,” he said.
Local businessman Joe Pinto, who currently owns the property on Prince Street, made an offer to the society. When the building is complete, Reid said the society will purchase the land and building for $600,000 plus HST.
“This route is less expensive, and it’s a better building all around,” said Reid. “We worked with Joe to get the building we want.”
The new home will be roughly 6,000 square feet – the former Lorne Street building was about a third of the size. It will feature a warehouse in about half the building, with the other half being utilized by offices, a waiting area, and community kitchen.
“We hope some of our clients will use the community kitchen to gain some cooking skills,” said Reid. “We had talked about including a kitchen all along – it’s certainly been an interest with our clients. We already offer recipes and a choice of foods, but more and more are venturing out and trying new things. We want to continue that trend.”
Reid said the cost of the kitchen isn’t included in the $600,000 price tag, but should be finished shortly after moving into the building.
When it comes to the $600,000, Reid said the society has close to half that, and they’re launching a capital campaign looking for community support.
“We’ve had some terrific support in the past and we expect that will continue,” he said, adding they’re hoping the cost of the kitchen, including equipment, will also be by donation.
The Community Credit Union, said Reid, is also offering the society an interest-free loan should they come up short with their fundraising efforts.
In 2017, the food bank provided 10,099 households with a food box, for a total of 541,706 pounds. Fourteen new clients were added to the list in July 2018, with a total of 1,783 people served that month.
For anyone wishing to make a donation, visit www.colchesterfoodbank.com for more information. Cheques can be mailed to Colchester Food Bank, 14 Court Street, Suite 200, Box 238, Truro, N.S., B2N 3H7.