Enough to Eat: Nictaux’s 12 Baskets Foodbank expands to meet need


Published on January 31, 2017
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Published on 31 January 2017

West Nova MP Colin Fraser stands with volunteers from the 12 Baskets Foodbank Association in Nictaux where he toured the facility Friday, Jan. 27. The federal government chipped in for an expansion that will help the association better meet the needs of its many clients.

Photos by Lawrence Powell

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Published on 31 January 2017

The 12 Baskets Foodbank Association board member Joan Morrison talks with West Nova MP Colin Fraser as he moves boxes of food during a visit Jan. 27. He plans to come back at a future date to help the volunteers stock the shelves.

Photos by Lawrence Powell

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Published on 31 January 2017

West Nova MP Colin Fraser visited the 12 Baskets Foodbank Friday, Jan. 27 to announce more than $11,000 in funding to support the cost of an addition to the existing building. The new space will allow more room for clients and an extra interview space. From left are Walter Illsley, Colin Fraser, Judith Doyle, and Joan Morrison.

Photos by Lawrence Powell

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Published on 31 January 2017

West Nova MP Colin Fraser visited the 12 Baskets Foodbank Friday, Jan. 27 to announce more than $11,000 in funding to support the cost of an addition to the existing building. The new space will allow more room for clients and an extra interview space. Here he talks with treasurer Judith Doyle.

Photos by Lawrence Powell

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Published on 31 January 2017

West Nova MP Colin Fraser visited the 12 Baskets Foodbank Friday, Jan. 27 to announce more than $11,000 in funding to support the cost of an addition to the existing building. The new space will allow more room for clients and an extra interview space.

Photos by Lawrence Powell

AS-31-12017-Nictaux-Foodbank6-LP

Published on 31 January 2017

West Nova MP Colin Fraser visited the 12 Baskets Foodbank Friday, Jan. 27 to announce more than $11,000 in funding to support the cost of an addition to the existing building. The new space will allow more room for clients and an extra interview space. Fraser helped stock shelves and move boxes.

Photos by Lawrence Powell

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Published on 31 January 2017

West Nova MP Colin Fraser visited the 12 Baskets Foodbank Friday, Jan. 27 to announce more than $11,000 in funding to support the cost of an addition to the existing building. The new space will allow more room for clients and an extra interview space. Fraser helped stock shelves and move boxes.

Photos by Lawrence Powell

NICTAUX - The 12 Baskets Foodbank in Nictaux is expanding. To meet a growing need.

West Nova MP Colin Fraser stopped by Friday afternoon to take a look at the addition, and ask a lot of questions about hunger. That there are people in his riding not getting enough to eat upsets him.

He helped move a big shipment of boxes dropped off by TRA and booked a day when he can come back and really help. He won’t be wearing a suit and tie that day – volunteering at the foodbank is hard work.

He’ll join some of the other 25-or-so volunteers and by then the addition should be just about done.

But Jan. 27 he was there to announce $11,197 to help with the project. The contribution supports construction costs including a concrete slab, building materials, labour, electrical, plumbing, crack filling, and painting.

Work has already started and the renovated facility will ensure the foodbank has the capacity to serve its growing clientele.

West Nova MP Colin Fraser visited the 12 Baskets Foodbank Friday, Jan. 27 to announce more than $11,000 in funding to support the cost of an addition to the existing building. The new space will allow more room for clients and an extra interview space. Fraser helped stock shelves and move boxes.

©Lawrence Powell

The Numbers

Much of the new space will allow those waiting for orders to do so inside. Currently the small waiting area accommodates only a few people. Board member Walter Illsley hopes part of the current waiting area can become a wheelchair-accessible washroom.

The need for the expansion becomes obvious when you see the numbers.

The Twelve Baskets Food Bank serves an average of 135 families and distributes about 10,000 pounds of food each month. Volunteers gather, package, and store food to distribute to clients in Middleton and the surrounding areas.

In 2014 alone, it helped feed 1,495 families. In 2015, the foodbank recognized the need to upgrade and expand its overcrowded building with the larger waiting area and an additional interview room.

In its October 2016 monthly manager’s report, the year-to-date number of families served stood at 1,285, up from 1,260 in 2014. In that month of October it supplied food to 135 families.

The report noted one new client and provided the following break-down: 31 single males, 15 single females, 26 singles with children, 27 couples with children, 36 couples without children, and 106 children. That adds up to 313 total clients.

Clients can only access the foodbank once a month.

West Nova MP Colin Fraser visited the 12 Baskets Foodbank Friday, Jan. 27 to announce more than $11,000 in funding to support the cost of an addition to the existing building. The new space will allow more room for clients and an extra interview space. Fraser helped stock shelves and move boxes.

©Lawrence Powell

The Process

Foodbank treasurer Judy Doyle and board members Illsley and Joan Morrison fielded Fraser’s questions, explaining the numbers, the geography, and how the shelves are stocked and the food selected and packed for clients.

The 12 Baskets catchment area runs from Elliott Road in Lawrencetown to the Kings County line – and north to the Margaretsville area and south to Springfield. And it’s been really busy lately. One recent Wednesday when they should have been done at 8:30 p.m. they were still handing out food at 11 p.m. Part of it had to do with the numbers of people in need and some of it had to do with the interview process bottleneck.

“The dedication and tireless efforts of local volunteers are at the heart of making Annapolis County a sustainable community,” Fraser said in a media release. “Canada’s success depends on the wellbeing of its communities and the people who live and serve in them every day. Smart, targeted investments in community infrastructure support the vitality of our communities and, in turn, our country.”

The federal funds came from the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program. The foodbank raised $11,697 of its own money through various fundraisers including a community appeal.

West Nova MP Colin Fraser visited the 12 Baskets Foodbank Friday, Jan. 27 to announce more than $11,000 in funding to support the cost of an addition to the existing building. The new space will allow more room for clients and an extra interview space. Fraser helped stock shelves and move boxes.

©Lawrence Powell

Details

The 12 Baskets Foodbank is open three days a week: on Mondays from 1 to 3 p.m.; Wednesday from 6 to 8:30 p.m.; and Friday from 9 to 11:30 a.m. It’s closed on holidays.

The foodbank is closed during the month of July and moves to Emmanuel Congregational Church in Middleton.

Besides contributions through various community fundraisers, 12 Baskets Foodbank is supported by TRA, SuperStore, and Feed Nova Scotia. The foodbank is actively seeking a new manager.

Follow 12 Baskets on Facebook.