Comox Valley Food Bank needs new home

Habitat for Humanity and the Comox Valley Food Bank are running out of space.

Two great charities, one big dilemma!

Habitat for Humanity and the Comox Valley Food Bank, both growing to meet the needs of our community, are running out of space.

In 2007, the Comox Valley Food Bank was serving out of a temporary space graciously provided by the Calvary Community Church. There was much pressure from neighbours as well as developers building in the area to move the Food Bank to a more appropriate location.

The Food Bank, a predominantly volunteer-run organization, had been struggling to find a more suitable location without any luck.

At the same time, Habitat for Humanity Vancouver Island North (HFHVIN) was in the process of buying a building to relocate the ReStore and affiliate offices.

When then-mayor Starr Winchester approached Habitat about the idea of renting a portion of the building to the Food Bank until they were able to find a more permanent solution, the board of directors from both organizations sat down with Winchester and came to an agreement; Habitat would lease space to the Food Bank for three years to allow them some time to find a home.

Four years have now passed and the Food Bank, despite an exhaustive search, has yet to find a suitable location.

To meet the increasing demands of the communities they serve, Habitat is currently embarking on their biggest project to date, the building of six homes on Piercy Avenue. This is in addition to the eight homes Habitat has already built with partner families on the North Island.

Both organizations desperately need more space by September.

It is said when it comes to solving problems, “two heads are better than one.” Perhaps then, it is time to enlist the heads of 65,000 people who live in our service area, to help find a new home for the Food Bank.

The groups are asking every realtor, developer, property owner, business owner and bank, every person to consider their sphere of influence, the area they work in, the properties and buildings they pass on the way to and from work, and help find a home for the Food Bank.

Some things to consider for the food bank:

The following are must haves:

•    Appropriate zoning (or ability to be rezoned);

• Adequate space (approximately 2,000 square feet);

• Adequate parking (17 spots);

• Ability to accommodate walk-in fridge and freezer;

• Close to bus routes;

• Affordable.

The following is a wishlist:

• Loading dock;

• Covered outdoor area for clients to queue out during hot or wet weather;

• Permanent location.

If the right location is found, the food bank won’t have to waste valuable resources moving every few years. Send your ideas for the food bank to comoxvfb@shaw.ca.

— Habitat for Humanity

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