Nicola Valley Food Bank
Not Just a Food Bank
Serving the Community on Merritt BC Canada
One of the more important social services in Merritt is the Nicola Valley Food Bank. Therefore this organization is instrumental in filling a gap where people have to decide between shelter or food. There are many people in the Merritt area who do not have enough financial support or low paying jobs that can’t make ends meet and therefore rely on the Nicola Valley Food Bank located in Downtown Merritt BC Canada.
The Program of the Nicola Valley Food Bank
Of course the main function of the Nicola Valley Food Bank is to provide nutritious food to those in need. However, there is more to the food bank than just the delivery of food. The food bank has created many successful partnerships in both the non profit sector and the business sector. It is these alliances that go along way to make the system work.
Sharing with other organizations
One of the organizations the Food Bank works with is Ask Wellness which is a national program to help improve the lives of people. One of their major focuses in Merritt is the housing component. Many of Ask Wellness’s clients also are those of the Nicola Valley Food Bank. By working together the two groups can see that the clients are properly fed with nutritious food.
The Merritt Soup Kitchen is another group that the Food Bank Deals with. Sometimes one organization or other will get a donation of food that is greater than can be used immediately and therefore there is an exchange of the excess so nothing goes to waste.
School District 58 and Strong Start work with the Food Bank to provide food for the Strong Start Program.
The Business Community is on Board
Certainly, the major grocery stores are on board with the food bank. When Wal Mart, No Frills and Save-on-Foods have products that are reaching their “best before date” they send them to the food bank. While these items are ending their retail life they still are OK to eat. While these big companies are contributing greatly there are a number of other businesses that chip in such as Starbucks, Dollar Tree, Pharmasave, A&W an now Mr Mikes.
|No Frills Supports Food Bank||
Dollar Tree Supports Food Bank
|A&W Supports the Food Bank|
||Walmart Supports Food Bank||Starbucks supports Food Bank||Pharmasave Supports the Food Bank|
Nicola Valley Food Bank Staffing and Volunteers
The success of any not for profit is in its staff and volunteers and the Food Bank is no exception. Derlanda Hewton is the General manager and her enthusiasm and vision have filtered to the staff and volunteers.
At the time of my visit to the Food Bank, the following were the staff and volunteers. Vanya Beck was the Administration assistant and intake person. She has a reassuring personality that works well with the clients.
Keith Walliser is on the food desk and he brings a world of knowledge to the Nicola Valley Food Bank because of his many years in the grocery store business. Also on staff are Edwin Feldman, inventory Clerk and Henry Krause, Driver.
Volunteers are Georgina Johnny, driver and on call, Brenda Fahlman and Rosemary McNeil, both portion control. Finally, we have Ashley Davey.
Like most non profits fund raising brings a significant amount of money (or food) for the operation of the Food Bank. Therefore community groups such as the Merritt Centennials put on food drives during their season. Out right donations from people are also greatly appreciated
This year the Food Bank participated in a national fund raising event called the “Coldest Night of the Year”. Consequently this fund raiser is catching on and should be bigger next year. The Centennials supported this event in a big way.
Future Plans for the Nicola Valley Food Bank
The current location of the Nicola Valley Food Bank is strategically located to serve its clientele but unfortunately it is too small to meet the needs of the organization and therefore are looking for a larger space.
They wish to add an education centre to teach things such as selecting nutritious foods, cooking nutritious foods and household budgeting.
In addition they need more space for preparing the Christmas hampers. Each year they have had to go and find a space that is large enough for this task and be reasonably priced (free is best).
Lastly, these are ambitious goals and if you want to be apart of that apply to be on the Board of Directors or take all the action in by volunteering at the Food Bank. Call Derlanda Hewton at 250.378.2282.
Nicola Valley Food Bank
Merritt British Columbia Canada
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