Story – May 1, 2018
Providing Fresher Foods
— May 1, 2018 by Jakki Lumax, courtesy of Swan Valley Star and Times —
The Swan Valley Food Bank (SVFB) has been helping residents of the Valley for many years by providing food once a week and a food hamper once a month to those in need. Recently, the organization was in need of assistance in order to purchase and install a walk-in cooler, which would aid them in providing healthier options to its clients by carrying fresher produce. Two different grants were given to the SVFB. One for $3,000 from the Community Foundation of Swan Valley, and another for $5,000 from Food Banks Canada in conjunction with Loblaws. A good portion of donations were also received from the community – as well as Swan Pas Refrigeration – in order to make up the difference. The project cost just under $20,000 in total, including a shelving unit installed within the cooler.
“In the past we've had problems with storage,” said SVFB Treasurer Phyllis Hunt. “Especially in the fall, we'd get a bunch of garden produce in and we'd have no place to put it.” Winnipeg Harvest has also previously sent crates of fresh fruits and eggs, and sometimes their offerings had to be denied. “It's nice to be able to have the walk-in cooler now because we're hoping we'll be able to offer more fresh things instead of all the pasta and stuff that doesn't have that much nutritious value,” said Hunt.
The SVFB hopes that the new change in their storage abilities will inspire those community members with a garden to plant a row for those in need, supplying them with more vegetables. “We help all those having a hard time making ends meet,” said Hunt. “We service all of the Swan Valley and within 100 km and try our best not to turn anyone away. If someone needs food, we will help them.”
The SVFB is open to receive donations from the community every Thursday from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm. “We'd like to express our appreciation to the whole community,” concluded Hunt. “We feel very fortunate that individuals and stores donate produce to us; it's what keeps us going.”