Food Bank on the Edge executive director Cris Martin beams next to a new cooler installed on Friday thanks to help from the district’s public works team. (Andrew Bailey photo)

Food Bank on the Edge executive director Cris Martin beams next to a new cooler installed on Friday thanks to help from the district’s public works team. (Andrew Bailey photo)

Food Bank on the Edge cheers Ucluelet’s public works crew

“They really saved our day. They were our heroes for sure”

The Food Bank on the Edge Society is singing the praises of Ucluelet’s public works crew after being saved from a dicey situation on Friday when new equipment showed up on short notice.

The society’s executive director Cris Martin told the Westerly News that the food bank received a roughly $20,000 refrigeration grant from Food Banks Canada and used the funds to purchase two new freezers and a new commercial cooler.

“The dicey part was we didn’t know when it was going to come. Then I got the word at 7:30 Friday morning that the delivery window was 7:45 to 9 a.m.,” she said.

She said she immediately reached out to the public works crew for help loading and installing the new equipment and three members were quick to lend a hand.

“They showed up happily and helped us…They really saved our day. They were our heroes for sure,” she said, adding it took roughly four hours to load up and install the new equipment.

“Once they got their rhythm, it was like a well oiled machine…They knew what they we’re doing, they were very knowledgeable, everybody was in a great mood, we made sure they got coffee and muffins. It was very important for us because we were kind of strapped for help at that point in time and they really stepped up for us. If they hadn’t stepped up to help us, we would have been scrambling.”

She added the new equipment will hopefully be on the move again in short order as the society continues its pursuit of a new facility.

The food bank has received land from the district and recently applied for a Community Gaming Grant from the provincial government buoyed by 15 letters of support.

“It was just a huge pat on the back that we were able to reach out to everybody and get their written support for our grant and I know that going forward that sentiment will prevail in the community as it always has. Our community has always been so good to us,” Martin said.

She suggested the project is expected to cost roughly $1.3 million and the society hopes to break ground as early as the spring of 2022.

“We have a lot of fundraising to do,” she said. “We’re going to be starting crowdfunding projects in the near future.”

Anyone looking for more information about the new building project or to make a donation towards its fruition should check out the society’s freshly launched website at foodbankontheedge.ca.

“We have big, big plans and we’re just going to take baby steps. It’s basically one step at a time at this juncture,” Martin said. “This is a future project for us that is going to happen. It is definitely going to happen. It’s not a dream, it’s going to become a reality.”

She added the community’s vocal support for the society helps “boost up” volunteer spirits.

“People don’t like to think that families are going hungry or kids are going hungry. It’s sad and it could be discouraging, but there is an underlying positivity just from our ability to help people,” she said. “We serve approximately 100 families a month and we take it very seriously. It brings us joy to see our clients.”



andrew.bailey@westerlynews.ca

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