Airdrie Food Bank organizers hoping to move into new building by summer
By: Matt Durnan
| Posted: Thursday, Apr 03, 2014 11:28 am
The Airdrie Food Bank will be moving in to their new building sometime this summer and the move could not come soon enough as the staff has seen significant increases in the number of people they serve.
The organization held its annual general meeting on March 27, highlighting their accomplishments in 2013, while looking at their plans for 2014. In January and February of this year, the food bank has seen a 28 per cent increase in the number of food hampers distributed and a 34 per cent increase in clients served compared to their numbers in 2013.
“A couple of things can contribute to these increases in our numbers,” said Sue Methuen, the food bank’s executive assistant. “For one, there’s the fact that Airdrie is constantly growing, and also there’s always a bit of a struggle after Christmas where people are trying to catch back up. We’re already pretty tight for space and with this increased need it’s challenging.”
In 2013, the Airdrie Food Bank was able to meet all demand from the community, assisting 350 families per month through their bread and extras program. They gave out more than 13,000 food items through their snack attack program, served over 5,500 breakfasts through their school breakfast program and gave out over 1,300 food hampers, a record for them, to more than 3,600 people.
The food bank’s focus will shift back to their capital campaign, after a hiatus during the Christmas season.
“We paused our Buy a Brick campaign for about two months during the winter to turn our focus more to operations and food,” said Methuen. “Those will still be ongoing needs but we’re really putting a lot of effort into our building fund starting this month.”
The Buy a Brick campaign still has a way to go, according to Methuen, as just 230 of 800 bricks have been sold. Bricks are being sold for $100 each and each brick comes with a $150 value to the food bank as an anonymous donor has committed to donating $50 for every brick sold.
Every resident who purchases a brick will have their name displayed on a wall in the new building’s reception area.
The new $1.2-million building is more than 4,000 square feet larger than the food bank’s current digs. The building is under construction next door to their current location at 20 East Lake Way. As of the March 27 annual general meeting, the food bank reported that they have raised nearly 80 per cent of their $1.2-million goal.