Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank will be able to fill up its tanks thanks to a $20,000 donation for fuel from Mid Island Co-op.
Peter Sinclair, Loaves and Fishes’ executive director, said the non-profit applied for a grant offered by the co-operative and the money will be of great benefit for operations.
“It’s obviously huge for us,” said Sinclair. “We’ve got a fleet of trucks, currently we’ve got four, come the new year we’re going to have six vehicles, and so those vehicles burn a lot of fuel and $20,000 worth of fuel is going to go a long ways to helping us recover all the good food that’s in the community.”
Sinclair said the food bank has many logistics that make the program work, including partnering with numerous grocery stores, and it requires being at the store locations seven days a week to pick up food. Filling up food bank vehicles can cost anywhere from $100 for its minivan (the smallest vehicle), to anywhere between $400 to $500 for its five-tonne vehicles.
“We do a lot of driving to pick that food up and on the distribution end of it, we have 11 different depots throughout the city where people can access food and we need to truck that food out to those locations so that people can access it … so we’re very reliant on our vehicles and we need fuel for those vehicles to keep going,” said Sinclair.
Susan Urban, Mid Island Co-op’s community relations manager, said the money comes from profits from membership sales and it’s an opportunity to give back to the community.
“Three times a year, we accept applications for funding and $20,000 was approved for them for this year,” said Urban. “So we have actually been donating to them for four years.”
Urban said $9,500 was donated in 2017 to the food bank for fuel, $12,000 in 2016 and $3,000 in 2015, more than $44,000 in all.