Thanks to a couple of grants, the Comox Valley Food Bank has tripled its refrigeration capacity.
A side-by-side double fridge/freezer walk-in cooler was installed at the McPhee Avenue food bank last week, and is now fully operational.
“We had two step-in coolers, two fridges and nine chest freezers before,” said Comox Valley Food Bank president Jeff Hampton. “These new walk-ins really increase our efficiency.”
Hansen successfully applied for two separate grants in 2017, receiving $24,607 through the Food Banks Canada Capacity Boost Grant, and $51,859 via the Food Banks BC Food Refrigeration Grant.
“Between the two of them, we were able to get these new units, and also get our van refrigerated,” said Hampton.
The Capacity Boost Grant was made possible thanks to the support of the Walmart Foundation and Walmart Canada.
The purpose of the grant is to increase the capacity of food bank organizations in Canada.
“In order for the [Walmart] stores to give us perishable food items, there needs to be some sort of guarantee [of safe storage]. So before they would agree to give us anything, we had to have a refrigerated vehicle and adequate refrigeration to store the food once it got here,” said Hampton. “So our van is currently in Port Coquitlam, undergoing a refit.”
The Comox Valley Food Bank feeds an average of roughly 1,200 families per month.
Hampton estimates approximately 31 per cent of his clientele are children.