The Airdrie Food Bank has a shiny new forklift to assist in its future storage operations, thanks to a $100,000 grant the charity received through the Community Services Recovery Fund this year.
While the grant was from a national program devoted to COVID-19 recovery initiatives, the money was facilitated through the Airdrie and District Community Foundation (ADCF), which was tasked by the federal government with dispersing the funds to local charities in need.
On Thursday afternoon, staff from the food bank showed off their new forklift at their storage bay at a warehouse in Gateway, alongside representatives from the ADCF and Brandt, which supplied the forklift and also donated a power pallet jack to the food bank's cause.
As a registered community foundation, the ADCF’s focus is to create a permanent financial legacy for Airdrie’s charities and non-profit organizations. The foundation's typical practice is to accept tax-deductible donations, holding the principle part of those investments in perpetuity while donating the interest and earnings every year to worthy organizations via an application process.
“We’re designed to help the unfortunate people of this community and the charities that help them,” said Dale Rathgeber, the ADCF's chair. “When we get to do something like this, it’s a very gratifying day.”
At the photo op on Thursday, Lori McRitchie, the executive director of the Airdrie Food Bank, said the forklift will be a major boon for the charity when it comes to storing large food donations at their leased warehouse bay in Gateway.
“It’s a wonderful piece of equipment that is everything we need it to be,” she said. “It’s electric, has a scale on it so we can weigh…our inventory. It’s just perfect and we’re really happy with it.”
In the past, McRitchie said when the Airdrie Food Bank needed a forklift at its warehouse bay, staff would either lease one or pay a company to transport the food bank's primary forklift from their main facility to the warehouse and back again.
“We have one used forklift that is used majorly at our other facility, but we really used one here so we could utilize racking and be more efficient in our storage,” she said.
“This is going to allow us to have a new forklift for this facility, and to use it for special occasions when we need it at the other facility.”