Food for Thought Blog
Capacity Boost Grant funds Food Bank Growth
November 13th, 2018Uncategorized
In order to meet the needs and better serve the 34,000+ people in Waterloo Region needing food assistance, it is important to grow and evolve. While we are a primarily community-funded organization, grants and funds provide us with the additional financial support needed to expand existing programs and capabilities, such as Fresh Approaches, as well as create new offerings.
Earlier this year, The Food Bank of Waterloo Region applied for and received Food Banks Canada’s 2018 Capacity Boost Grant to support the Fresh Approaches Food Centre. The grant supports food banks implementing infrastructure needed to increase the amount of perishable and non-perishable food distributed to those in need.
Capacity Boost Grant Funds Expansion of Fresh Approaches Food Centre and More
A portion of the funds were used to purchase industrial-grade safe food handling equipment used in the food processing facility. The Fresh Approaches Food Centre – which opened in June 2018 – is an on-site food preparation room that facilitates the improved quality, quantity and variety of food distributed to a network of 100+ community programs and agency partners.
The room is now fully operational and staff and volunteers are slicing, dicing and freezing perishable product to be available for year-round distribution.
In addition to funding equipment for the Fresh Approaches Food Centre, the grant also paid for a new hydraulic dock leveler and racking for our cooler room.
With the installation of a new hydraulic dock leveler, we will be able to accept deliveries from an additional dock bay, increasing the amount of donations we receive and distributed back to the community. This additional dock leveler allows us to accept larger and more frequent food donations without interrupting our existing back-to-back delivery schedule, maximizing our operational efficiency.
The additional racking in our cooler has increased our storage capacity, allowing us to hold an additional 65 pallets of fresh produce (approximately 65,000 pounds). This will ensure a longer life span of perishable food that will benefit our community programs and agency partners.
Thank you to Food Banks Canada and the Walmart Foundation for your support.