The Boundary Community Food Bank provides a variety of products to those in need. (Audrey Gunn/Grand Forks Gazette)

The Boundary Community Food Bank provides a variety of products to those in need. (Audrey Gunn/Grand Forks Gazette)

Shelves are always stocked at Boundary Community Food Bank

Community members enjoy tour of facility

The Boundary Community Food Bank in Grand Forks hosted a public tour of the facility Saturday, May 7.

Volunteers welcomed people from 10 a.m. to noon.

The food bank experience is highly organized, according to co-ordinator Lynda Hynes.

First, clients visit the intake office, where they give details about family numbers, and primary means of income.

Then they visit the protein station, where they can choose from meats, canned fish, peanut butter, and more. There are also vegetarian options.

The food bank aims to provide enough goods to last a family for one week.

The produce section follows, where fruits and vegetables are selected, and there is an area for dry-dock and non-perishable foods.

The food bank also supplies personal care items and household essentials. Special considerations are made for children. There is a book rack and birthday bags.

The program is run entirely by volunteers, whose duties range from collaborating with other community groups to sorting through donations.

Monetary gifts are accepted, and bins are located at local grocery stores.

Approximately half of the donations are made by the public, with the balance being contributed by business, said Hynes.

The Gospel Chapel assists with collections, and local farmers share their bounty.

Excess food is sent on to other food banks in the region, and to elementary schools, the Women’s Resource Centre, and Courtesy Kitchen.

Hynes said she makes sure the shelves are always stocked. She wants people to know the centre is a reliable source.

“I never want them to have that insecurity. I want them to know that we are always going to be here to give them that stress relief from their budget.”

A free cooking class, also run by food bank volunteers, is held at the Gospel Chapel.

Hynes noted the service also keeps waste out of landfills.

The centre is more than just a building to access essential supplies. Hynes said, pre-COVID, it was a gathering place for people to socialize.

“A lot of low-income people, because they don’t have a job or have severe disabilities, they don’t have as much of a social network.”

Hynes hopes that once COVID eases, the food bank will return to hosting gatherings for clients to socialize.

To learn how to support the food bank or to donate, please visit https://boundarycommunityfoodbank.ca/ or https://www.facebook.com/BoundaryCommunityFoodBank, or call the food bank at 250-442-2800.

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@audreyygunn
editor@grandforksgazette.ca

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