FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. – The Salvation Army Food Bank recently received Grants from Food Bank B.C after applying to help increase their capacity and ability to process and facilitate perishable food items for the community.
As a registered Food Bank the Salvation Army holds membership which allows access to Corporate donors and grants put through by organizations. Last year an initiative that revolved around Perishable food recovery opened up a new way of food collection and distribution for the Food Bank.
The Vision for FSJ was to be able to accept perishable food from the community that would otherwise end up in the landfill.”The food bank picks up perishable food from retail outlets that is nearing best before dates yet has not quite reached that,” says Cameron Eggie, Executive Director of the Salvation Army Northern Centre of Hope
After the program officially launched in June approx 17,000 pounds of perishable food was picked up, processed and distributed to the community in the first month. Food items from bakeries and now frozen food has become available. When the second round of grants for perishable food became available, Eggie and his wife applied for the grant and got to envision what would help increase capacity for the Food Bank and the Community that uses their services and recognized their current minivan that takes multiple trips to collect food needed help.
The application was submitted and they were approved for a larger refrigerable vehicle van. Other changes to the space is a new walk-in cooler/freezer which has been ordered. Eggie is also converting an old kitchen area to a stainless steel washing station for food handling equipment to increase capacity, which will process donations quicker and provide healthier options for families to have access too.
“Dry foods add so much support,” says Eggie “For someone to get steak, butter or milk is changing everything” Eggie continues to say “Access to fresh produce in a Northern Food Bank is almost unheard of, and I am honoured to spearhead this initiative in FSJ.”