Boundary Community Food Bank loving new location

Erin Perkins
By Erin Perkins
February 12th, 2012

The Boundary Community Food Bank has a fresh new look and a attractive prime location in Grand Forks at 7419-2nd Street.

In fact, it is hard to miss the new food bank location. It is on the corner of the first intersection into town if you’re coming westbound on Highway 3 and the windows have attractive photographs of local landmarks and delicious looking produce on them.

On Friday Feb. 10 the Boundary Community Food Bank Society (BCFBS) members hosted an open house to celebrate the new location and to allow people in for a look around. Although the food bank opened the doors on the new space in early January, they wanted to get fully settled in before opening the behind-the-scenes doors to the public. Dozens of people took the tour, including local politicians.

“We are very happy to be here,” said Bobbi Boughton, BCFBS treasurer. “The nice thing about this location is that we have a seperate office with a door and now we can protect client confidentiality more than before.”

“(The new facilities) are such a wonderful improvement over what we had before that we don’t mind spending dozens of hours a month here,” said John Billwiller, BCFBS secretary.

The custom created facility, complete with a reception room, private office, sorting space, store room, fresh paint and new flooring wouldn’t have been possible without the generous help of the building’s owner, Tim O’Brien. O’Brien paid for all the custom renovations and will continue to improve the building, including a fresh coat of paint on the outside this spring.

The building had been vacant for four years, so when he found out the food bank needed to leave their old home on 4th Street, he offered his space to them. Not only will they be reliable tenants, but he likes to know he’s helping the community at the same time.

“It was fair for us and fair for them,” said O’Brien. “We just saw this as a good community thing to do.”

The food bank has been in operation since 1988. It currently provides confidential help to more than 150 hampers to more than 270 regular clients, one-third of which are children, from the Boundary region. More than 23 volunteers operate the facility.

Christmas is over, but people still need to eat

While the shelves and freezers are full today at the food bank, supplies won’t last long without more donations.

Christmas — the high donation period for the year — has come and gone but the clients still need to eat.

Meat is always needed, especially canned meat, said Boughton. The food bank currently receives about 90lbs (41 kilograms) of meat for $50 from Huckleberry Market in Christina Lake regularly. The meat has been flash frozen, so it has a long shelf life for the food bank.

“We are very greatful for that donation,” said Boughton.

“Meat is a very important factor and especially for a small food bank like ours because meat is expensive and hard to get,” said Boughton.

Money is also a very much appreciated donation because the food bank society has more buying power than the average citizen, said Boughton. So they can get a better bang for the buck, so to speak.

Donations to the food bank may be dropped off at their new location on 2nd Street on Tuesday between 9:30 a.m. and noon or between 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. There are also drop boxes located at Overwaitea, Extra Foods and Buy Low Foods in Grand Forks.

Cash donations can be mailed to P.O. Box 1052, Grand Forks, B.C., V0H 1H0. Please include your return address so a tax receipt can be sent to you.

Client services are available on Tuesdays from 10 a.m. to noon and 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

For more information about the food bank, visit http://BoundaryCommunityFoodBank.blogspot.com.

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