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Food Bank receives hefty grant funding from Province

By: Allison Chorney

  |  Posted: Thursday, May 29, 2014 12:23 pm

MLA for Calgary-Hays Ric McIver presented the Airdrie Food Bank's Executive Director Lori Ritchie with a $150,000 cheque on May 21 at the food bank's new building. The funds came from the Community Facility Enhancement Program and will go towards helping to complete the new building, which is still under construction.
MLA for Calgary-Hays Ric McIver presented the Airdrie Food Bank's Executive Director Lori Ritchie with a $150,000 cheque on May 21 at the food bank's new building. The funds came from the Community Facility Enhancement Program and will go towards helping to complete the new building, which is still under construction.
Submitted/For Rocky View Publishing

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A $150,000 grant cheque has put the Airdrie Food Bank one step closer to completely funding the organziation’s new building.

“We are so very close,” said the food bank’s Executive Director Lori McRitchie.

“We are still working with our anonymous sponsor who is matching funding by 50 cents for every dollar.”

The food bank received the cheque from the Province on May 21.

She said the organization has raised about 87 per cent of the total $1.3 million price tag of the new building.

The funding, presented to McRitchie by Calgary-Hays MLA Ric McIver, is from a grant from the Community Facility Enhancement Program. The Alberta Culture program was established to reinvest revenues generated from provincial lotteries into communities to empower local citizens and community organizations to work together and respond to local needs, according to the Provincial website.

“We are happy to support people who are doing great work like (the food bank),” McIver said. “It’s essentially your money you’re getting back and I know you’ll use it wisely. I know you’ll benefit a lot of other people.”

The new building is about 6,000 square feet, which is about 4,000 square feet larger than the food bank’s current home and is under construction next door to their current location at 20 East Lake Way.

The new building will give the food bank significantly more warehouse space and offer skill-building programs by providing a community kitchen in Airdrie.

The community kitchen will allow Airdronians to come together and cook a meal, participate in cooking classes and offer a space other local organizations can use for team activities.

McRitchie said the new building will allow the food bank to move from an emergency support to being an organization about teaching new skills and building supports for clients.

“We couldn’t do this without the Province’s help and we are so grateful for their support,” she said of the grant funding.

McRitchie said the food bank is still running the “Put Another Brick in the Wall” campaign that allows residents to buy a granite brick for $100. The bricks will have the food bank’s logo on them and will be used to help build a feature wall in the foyer of the new facility. There will also be a space for residents who purchased a brick to leave their name or a message.

“Your name will be there forever and you’re helping us build our new building,” McRitchie said.

Along with the fundraising for the new building, the food bank still needs donations of food and is participating for a second year in the Plant a Row, Grow a Row campaign in partnership with Blue Grass Nursery, Sod and Garden Centre in Balzac.

To participate, residents can go to Blue Grass Nursery, Sod and Garden Centre and tell them what they are growing for the campaign. They will receive a $5 greenbuck to use towards planting and growing an extra row of veggies to donate to the food bank.

“You grow for yourself and at the same time you also grow for us,” McRitchie said.

McRitchie said the soft opening date for the new building is the beginning of August and the building is expected to be fully open and operational by the fall.

For more information on the new food bank building or to purchase a brick, visit www.newairdriefoodbank.com


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