Food bank moves into new home in Courtenay

The Comox Valley Food Bank has moved to a new location at 1491 McPhee Ave. across the street from Courtenay Elementary School.

FOOD BANK VOLUNTEERS Bob Sabell and Doug Gibson work in the new location on McPhee Avenue in Courtenay.

The Comox Valley Food Bank has moved to a new location at 1491 McPhee Ave. across the street from Courtenay Elementary School.

The operation had received notice from landlord Habitat for Humanity to vacate its previous space at 13th Street in Courtenay by the end of this month.

The new locale is its seventh location since opening 28 years ago.

Last year, the food bank had hoped to move to Cousins Avenue in the light industrial Tin Town section of Courtenay but the site was inadequately zoned. A stumbling block was off-street parking, which is not an issue at the new location.

“The conditions for us getting into this location is we have to provide adequate parking off the street for all our clients and our volunteers,” CVFB president Jeff Hampton said Thursday. “With that in mind we’re working on developing a parking lot and getting gravel donated.”

It will operate under a five-year lease.

“It’s better in that it’s more centrally located,” Hampton said. “It’s got its own issues but we’re here to try and sort it out, make it work.”

Formerly occupied by the Women’s Resource Centre, the new location is about 2,800 square feet including a large sorting room in the back and storage upstairs. The building at 1755 13th St. offered only 1,700 square feet to operate.

About 35 volunteers help run the Comox Valley Food Bank, which serves about 18 per cent of the local population according to statistics. It relies on donations from the public and local grocers.

“The stores have been really good,” food bank manager Susan Somerset said. “Safeway gives us produce and the other stores will give us reclamation.”

The food bank is open from 9:30 a.m. to noon Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday, and 9:30 to 11 a.m. Friday. Hamper day is Thursday from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Food donations can be made onsite or at bins at grocery stores.

The food bank is also looking for donations of topsoil to develop landscaping around the parking area.

Call 250-338-0615.

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