Central Newfoundland food banks appear to be holding their own after a fire destroyed the Community Food Sharing Association’s warehouse in St. John’s late last month.
At the time, the Association was providing 54 food banks across the province with supplies, however, in central Newfoundland, local support seems to be keeping the shelves stocked.
At the Gander Food Bank, chairman Craig Hall said the loss wouldn’t have much of an impact on Gander operations.
“We are more of a standalone food bank,” he said. “Most of our contributions come from cooperate organizations and private donations.”
Hall said there’s also several food drives throughout the year, to help support its approximately 100 clients per month.
But from time-to-time the Gander Food Bank does receive a shipment of supplies from the Food Sharing Association.
“It’s probably once a year, so we aren’t dependent to any extent,” he said. “I don’t think our clients will see any impact of service as a result of the fire.”
In Bayview, the Salvation Army Food Bank does receive supplies from the Food Sharing Association.
Captain David Thompson says there will be some impact, but he doesn’t foresee a disruption in service for its 30-40 New World Island clients while the distribution center re-establishes itself.
“Because of distance we try to be as self-supporting as we can,” he said. “We have a good support system in Twillingate and the surrounding area.”
And the fire occurred during a period where donations are high and food banks are well stocked.
“In the fall and in the winter, people are more attuned to the fact that there is a need,” he said. “In the summer time, we find our shelves are low and that’s when we have the greatest need for support from the Food Sharing Association.”
Since the fire took place, he said, residents have been stepping up.
“People in the communities are coming in and saying what can we do to help the local food bank, because of that loss,” he said.
The Green Bay Food Bank, in Springdale, hasn’t had to avail of food sharing services.
“We have enough area support that we have never had the need to call in and say we need food,” said volunteer Ruth Butt.
Like other area organizations, Butt said local contributions are providing for its upwards of 80 clients per month.
But she feels for the Food Sharing Association.
“It’s really sad, because there are food banks that really rely on them,” she said.
Being in such a fortunate position, Butt said, the Green Bay Food Bank will be reaching out to offer support however it can.