The Kimberley Helping Hands Food Bank has installed solar panels at their new location. Paul Rodgers photo.

The Kimberley Helping Hands Food Bank has installed solar panels at their new location. Paul Rodgers photo.

Kimberley Helping Hands Food Bank welcomes community to open house

The Kimberley Helping Hands Food Bank is hosting an open house on Saturday, Sept. 16 to give people a chance to see their new location and learn more about their vision for the new space and their future.

The Society moved in to their new home at 255 Knighton Road officially on Jan. 1, but had been in there doing their Christmas Hampers before then.

READ MORE: Kimberley Food Bank moving to new location this fall

Since they’ve moved in, President Barry Cummins said they’ve installed solar panels, which are already helping them generate extra money, as they are producing a surplus of power they’re then able to sell back to BC Hydro. They’re also discussing the idea of having year-round greenhouses on site.

“We’ve cleaned up the property, we are changing from a hamper program to a shopping model/hamper idea. We have funding now to put in a kitchen,” Cummins said. “We have some raised bed gardens on the go in the back. We are working with the city on getting some use of their property to park BC Transit buses, as a potential source of other income.”

Since moving from their previous location, it has been a bit of a transition phase. Cummins said that while their regular clients are using the new location, their drop-in clients have declined, and they are now looking into changing their model, and doing deliveries for people who don’t have access to their own transportation.

“It’s a work in progress,” Cummins said.

The Food Bank continues to work closely with the Healthy Kimberley Food Recovery Depot, a important relationship for the community. Cummins said they get food from them every day, but will also send food back up to the Depot whenever there’s an over abundance at the Food Bank.

They also work collaboratively with the Cranbrook Food Bank, for example, they recently had an over abundance of baby food and other items for infants, as not too many of their current clients have babies. As baby food does have a shelf life, they sent it all to the Cranbrook Food Bank to ensure it was not wasted.

“As always the Kimberley Food Bank wishes to thank all of the contractors and donors who have been so kind to give back to us, especially in our time of transition,” Cummins said. “I don’t want to miss anyone, so it’s impossible to list everyone that has contributed individually over the course of these past months, let alone the last years.”

If anyone is interested in being a board member or volunteering, call 250-427-5522 and leave a message with your name and contact info.


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