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Windsor food bank relocates, need for services remains steady

Cindy Loane, the Matthew 25 Windsor and District Food Bank co-ordinator, has been involved with the local organization for 40 years.
Cindy Loane, the Matthew 25 Windsor and District Food Bank co-ordinator, has been involved with the local organization for 40 years.

WINDSOR, N.S. — There's no shortage of enthusiasm among the volunteers of the Matthew 25 Windsor and District Food Bank.

The main group of 13 volunteers has been busily setting up shop in the local industrial park since the organization moved at the end of February.

Cindy Loane, the food bank's co-ordinator, said they outgrew their previous basement location on King Street in Curry's Corner. The food bank was located there for 16 of their 40 years.

“We didn't have as many clients then. We only had about maybe 300 then so it wasn't so bad (in that) location,” said Loane. “But now, we have over 1,300 people and it got more and more difficult to work there.”

The group longed to move, but couldn't seriously consider it until a bequest was made recently.

“We had a gentleman in our area that passed away and left us some money and because of that we were able to seriously look,” said Loane.

Then they found an ideal spot on Sanford Drive in the West Hants Industrial Park.

“We had to put a large deposit here, which we could've never done before,” said Loane.

Janice Gray seems to always have a smile on her face. The volunteer is in charge of making sure families in need have potatoes each week.

“I know some people don't really like the fact that we're not in the centre of town. We couldn't afford the centre of town,” she said, noting rent would have been between $3,000 and $7,000.

“This isn't that far out. If you measure from downtown to where we were and then measure this, it's pretty much the same. It's just you're going in a different direction,” she said.

The move began in earnest in February. While there's still much left to be done, the centre is open and helping the area's residents.

Long-time volunteers Bonnie Peach and Kim Foley have been helping to get the Matthew 25 Windsor and District Food Bank reorganized after the organization's big move.

Loane said the downturn in the economy over the last decade has really affected local families.

“I was asked what our greatest need was and I said jobs so that people can go back to work and not need us. That's what we need; that's what they need,” said Loane, citing closures like Fundy Gypsum Corporation's operations in Hants County and Minas Basin Pulp and Power Limited as prime examples.

“We actually had men break down because they worked all of their lives and they really didn't want to ask for handouts,” said Loane.

She said there are very few cases where people are 'abusing the system.'

“It's more people that are struggling, trying to keep up, because there is no work around here now.”

Loane said McAdoo's Landscaping & Excavating played a significant role in their move, as the company donated the use of a large garbage bin to haul away broken, damaged or unwanted items. The Summerville Fire Department donated their old cooler when they bought a new one. A local mental health association donated a freezer. Every donation helps, Loane said.

Marjorie Doyle volunteers her time at the local food bank and generally packs the bread products when the group prepares orders for those in need.


Fast facts

The Matthew 25 Windsor and District Food Bank is open Tuesdays and Fridays. Orders are asked to be placed between noon and 3 p.m. to give volunteers the chance to compile the orders. A time is set for pick up and the person receives a number instead of using their name.

Shopping at the food bank's thrift store, located in the same building, supports the food bank's mission. The cost is $6 for a kitchen catcher bag of clothes, or $10 for a garbage bag full of items.

Call 902-798-4313 for more information.

Volunteers with the Matthew 25 Windsor and District Food Bank are excited to have set up shop at 90 Sanford Drive in the West Hants Industrial Park. Pictured are, from left, some of the people who work behind the scenes to help those in need: Cindy Loane, Kim Foley, Evelyn Oatman, Josee Angelucci, Bonnie Peach, Karen Cockaday, Doreen Eagles, Janice Gray, Marjorie Doyle, and Joey Clayton. Missing from the group photo are Matt Godfrey and Brenda Landry.

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