St. Joseph’s food bank building donations still coming

An average of $20,000 in materials and cash is being contributed from throughout the community

Fundraising for St. Joseph’s Food Bank’s new building is progressing well, and organizers expect to finish by year’s end.

Donations have slowed due to the holiday season, said Ron Leger, one of the driving forces behind the construction, but an average of $20,000 per month in materials and cash is coming through the door.

“I was really encouraged by this much support,” he said, and noted the community, contractors, the parish and the municipality are all contributing to the project.

Mission Mayor Ted Adlem is hosting a charitable golf tournament July 21 to raise more money for the building.

The building is located on Seventh Avenue, adjacent to the St. Joseph’s Catholic Church. It is estimated to cost $590,000, including the land; $128,247 is left to raise, said Leger.

A food bank operated out of the basement of the church for about 15 years, but demand grew to the point where the food bank needed a free-standing building. The structure will be a two-storey building, designed to look like a small church, with 1,860 square feet on each floor.

The new building will have an overhang in the front, to shelter the crowds that form. There will be a loading dock with a pallet jack and a conveyer belt system to move the food indoors, where it is sorted.

There will be a pickup area with shelving that will also make the visit faster for patrons.

Food bank coordinator Patrick Carey said it started “very small and very simple,” with about 30 clients per month.

These days, they serve 10 times that number. They are open two days a month for distribution, but volunteers are there working seven days a week to prepare for those days.