LOCAL EDITORIAL: Hungry people in Comox Valley need new food bank site to work

After searching for months with a soft deadline, the Comox Valley Food Bank is in a new home.

After searching for months with a soft deadline, the Comox Valley Food Bank is in a new home.

Tension rose in recent weeks as the CVFB board of directors operated under a hard deadline from their Habitat for Humanity landlord.

Not that the food bank people were complaining. Habitat was extremely patient and understanding while the search continued.

It’s just that the Habitat board needed the space occupied by the food bank, and had issued an end-of-August moving deadline.

Buying or leasing a property for a household or even just one person is a complicated transaction, although the food bank did not have the extra wrinkle of having to sell its existing building.

Still, there were some specific things on the food bank board’s shopping list that a new home needed to have, including a central location.

A large space is needed to sort and assemble food as well as distributing it. Off-street parking for food bank clients and volunteers, the lack of which torpedoed previous interest in a Tin Town site, is another must.

Food bank spokesman Jeff Hampton is pleased that the new home at 1491 McPhee Ave. in Courtenay offers about 2,800 square feet, 1,100 more than at the Habitat headquarters. There’s also a large sorting room in the back and storage upstairs.

Does it sound too good to be true? Let’s hope not, because the food bank provides an essential service to an estimated 18 per cent of the Comox Valley’s population.

The new location is right across from Courtenay Elementary School, whose staff and parents might have concerns about young students interacting with food bank clients.

Food bank volunteers must be vigilant on this front, and should establish a rapport with their neighbours if they haven’t already done so.

Please, neighbours, rise above NIMBYism and give this five-year lease at the food bank’s seventh location in 28 years a chance to work.


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