Donation gives Loaves and Fishes a lift

Staff at Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank can now reach the ceiling of their new Farquhar Street warehouse.

Peter Sinclair

Peter Sinclair

Staff at Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank can reach the ceiling at the new Farquhar Street warehouse thanks to the generosity of a Nanaimo businessman.

The new warehouse stores food for the main distribution point at 1009 Farquhar St., as well as six satellite depots around town.

But with storage racks stretching nearly five metres, use of the warehouse was limited without a forklift.

A $15,000 fundraising campaign was planned in early November to purchase a forklift, but Jeff Gallimore, owner of Pacific West Forklift Services, stepped in to ease the food bank’s burden.

“Our board had decided to see what we could get for 15 thousand and then Jeff called up and said he had one for free,” said Peter Sinclair, Loaves and Fishes executive director. “We were pretty blown away. Now we can take that money and buy food for clients.”

Gallimore said the reason for the donation was simple.

“They need help,” he said. “I was working in the area and saw the work they do, saw the people lining up and figured they needed help. What we’re doing is donating a rental forklift to them so that way we’re responsible for the maintenance of it.”

Sinclair said the forklift also means food deliveries can be taken by pallet off trucks instead of a chain of people offloading by hand.

“It makes for a happy staff and a lot fewer sore backs,” he said.

With the warehouse operational, the next project for Loaves and Fishes is to pave the area surrounding the warehouse and office.

“The concrete around the buildings has cracked and been patched over the years and is pretty uneven,” said Sinclair. “It makes it difficult for the forklift to operate and it’s a tripping hazard.”

For more information on Loaves and Fishes, please go to www.nanaimoloavesandfishes.org or call 250-754-8347.