The six-year effort to establish a permanent home for the St. Joseph’s Food Bank, which last year helped more than 4,000 Mission residents with the most basic of human needs – enough to eat – is coming to fruition on Saturday.
The official opening of the $500,000 building, built totally through contributions from individuals and businesses, will mark a new chapter for the food bank, which has been operating since 1990.
The food bank, which has operated through St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church on Seventh Avenue since its inception, is totally run by volunteers – about 50 of them. Their average age is 72.
They give back to the community (usually volunteering for about six days per month) because they care about others. As manager Cully Poston says, there are many working poor people these days who, even though they have jobs, find it a stretch to have enough food on hand to last throughout the month. Given the high costs of home ownership or rentals, ever-increasing taxes and user fees, and other constant impositions on family budgets, it’s a scenario that is far too common.
The food bank does make a significant difference for these people. and it’s a strong signal that Mission is a caring community.
The fact that so many people willingly donated to make the new building a reality, and so many businesses contributed materials and labour, is a testament to the depth of community support for this endeavour.
Congratulations to all the people who made it happen, particularly Ron Leger, who has been working hard on this project for many years. Thanks also to all who volunteer and donate to the food bank.