New coolers provide fresh food options at Brockville and Area Food Bank

Recipient: Brockville and Area Food Bank
Region: Brockville
Program: Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund
Total funding received: $258,500

New walk-in coolers have improved food storage and support healthier food options for clients.
New walk-in coolers have improved food storage and support healthier food options for clients.

For most communities in southern Ontario, food bank services are a necessity, and managing the resources to meet demand is not an easy task. Brockville and Area Food Bank, previously known as Operation Harvest Sharing, has been up for the challenge since 1985, never failing to provide emergency food support for individuals and families in downtown Brockville and the surrounding communities.

This valued registered charity received funding from FedDev Ontario’s Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund for essential facility repairs, ensuring continued service and expansion to meet the growing need.

“The funding from FedDev Ontario has completely changed the way we work and respond to our client’s needs,” says JoAnne Sytsma, Food Bank Manager at the Brockville and Area Food Bank, which is a 100 percent vounteer-run organization. “Our bright clean building is open and welcoming and we’re proud to be able to serve our families in a space that offers them dignity and respect.”

In 2010, the Brockville and Area Food Bank relocated to be within walking-distance of its clients in the downtown area. It was a great move, but the building required major renovations. FedDev Ontario funding was timely, providing for the installation of a new roof, insulation and flooring, as well as other new structural elements including a new receiving bay and walk-in coolers.

“With the new warehouse space and modern walk-in coolers and freezers, we are now able to provide a variety of fresh and frozen items that boost the nutritional value of the food we share with our clients,” says Sytsma. “Fresh fruit and vegetables, frozen meat, fresh milk, eggs and bread are now a part of our everyday offerings.”

The repairs have also made the building energy efficient, which will help the charity save money down the road—money that is better spent on supplying nourishing food for its clients.

For when an individual no longer has to worry about his or her next meal, or when a child doesn’t have to go to school hungry, there’s a level of security that’s put in place—one that helps shift people’s focus so they have a greater capacity to reach their potential. And this benefits everyone in the community.

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The funding from FedDev Ontario has completely changed the way we work and respond to our clients’ needs.
JoAnne Sytsma, Food Bank Manager, Brockville and Area Food Bank, Brockville
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