How many times have I driven by without a thought of what goes on behind the doors, with an overhead sign, Lifecentre: Food Bank.
Sure they supply food for those in need in the community — but how does this all come about?
The Lifecentre Food Bank here in the Hamlet opened in the fall of 2011. The facility is owned by Lifecentre and operates under the umbrella of the Ottawa Food Bank, with 60% of donations coming from them. The balance comes from us, the community. It is made up of partners which include several schools, farmers markets, Cobs Bread, and your donations and food drives.
The pace starts on Tuesdays with a delivery from the Ottawa Food Bank. Volunteers then stock the shelves, along with other donations that come in until Wednesday evening with the delivery from Cobs Bread. On Thursdays from 9 am to 8 pm, at set times, an average of 62 families pay a visit to the facility. Deliveries are also available. Recipients visit to a maximum of every two weeks. The past few months have seen a 20% increase in demand.
Not all requirements are met with the donations from the Ottawa Food Bank, so a shopping list is made up for additional or insufficient items, like pouches of milk, that are purchased. There are some items that are universal which cross many cultures, such as diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, corn kernels, chickpeas, and canned peas. These basics are some of the most popular items, other than Kraft Dinner.
It takes Julie Frereault, the Foodbank Director, 20 hours per week along with a newly hired Coordinator for an equal 20 hours per week, and 28 volunteers per week, to serve the clients efficiently, and to make sure the operation runs smoothly and fulfills its mandate.
The BCA was very pleased to contribute, through various events held this year, several cash donations to the Lifecentre Food Bank. Many thanks to all, for contributing, in so many ways, to the food tables of those in our community.