Food bank announces plans for 6,000-square-foot facility
Construction expected to be completed by 2014
Representatives from the Airdrie Food Bank revealed plans for its proposed 6,000-square-foot facility to City council, Nov. 19.
Construction of the building, which will replace the organization’s current 2,280-square-foot facility, is expected to begin next March with a proposed completion date of fall, 2013 to early 2014.
“We are moving along pretty well,” said Martin Durocher, representative for the Airdrie Food Bank.
“We are just about at the development permit stage.”
The new, $1.12-million building, which will be located on the food bank’s current site, will include much-needed storage, a loading dock, office space, walk- in freezer space, a large client area and a community kitchen.
The modular building currently in use will be sold.
The new building will be constructed using green building practices and will include 22 feet of head space in the warehouse, more than double the current offering.
According to Food Bank Executive Director Lori McRitchie, the new building is needed to support the increase in demand for the organization’s services.
“The food bank need has gone up 800 per cent in 20 years,” she said.
“We anticipate that need will grow.”
Airdrie’s Food Bank serves a population that includes both town and rural residents, ranging from the city of Calgary limits, east to Beiseker, west to Madden and north to Crossfield.
The organization provides a number of services each year including about 1,200 food hampers; 300 bread and extras each month; emergency hampers; snack attack, which provides nutritious snacks to more than 20 area schools; and a milk and formula program.
According to McRitchie, the organization has 135 regular volunteers and receives more than 90 per cent of its funding from the community.
The board and staff have selected a contractor to build the new building and will announce the organization’s public funding campaign for the facility next June.
The organization will likely apply for provincial funding, but a good portion of the money will have to be funded through the community.
Alderman Glenda Alexander expressed gratitude to the food bank representatives.
“Thank you for all your hard work,” she said.
“It’s a great effort that you put in. I am excited for all of this to come into fruition in the next year or so.”
Alderman Alan Hunter said the organization does a good work.
“It’s a sad day when you have an empty tummy,” he said.
“As a youngster, I had times when I had an empty tummy and I will never forget that.”
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