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New Comox Valley Food Bank location to help more residents as food costs rise

The Comox Valley Food Bank has found a permanent home, which it says will help serve an increasing client base.

The new home, just three doors down from its previous location, on McPhee Avenue boasts more warehouse space and a better flow for clients to get their necessities compared to the old location.

The Comox Valley Food Bank has been operating in the area for 38 years but has moved around. The new location will be their first permanent home.

Other pluses include clients not needing to line up at an entrance visible to the street, and being able to serve more people as demand increases.

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Deputy executive director Justin Lafortune says the older space was seeing about 50 clients per day, and they have increased to about 100 clients per day.

“Lots of different reasons are leading to that with increased housing [costs], increased food costs, increased gas costs and just inflation in general,” said Lafortune.

He adds the food bank has seen an increase of about 35 per cent year-over-year in users, and they see about six new clients signing up per day.

Inflation is hitting other non-profit programs in the Comox Valley. Sonshine Lunch Club president Kevin Elsasser says they have been noticing an increase in visitors, requiring more donations.

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“People don’t have ample amounts for themselves, so we’re seeing less donations as well,” said Elsasser.

He adds the greatest need right now is cash, and they have been able to cut costs with local produce this year.

Lafortune says they hope to be able to serve more people with the new location and grow with renovations.

“In the meantime, we’ve adopted enough space to be able to have increased sea containers that will help us store even more goods,” said Lafortune.

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“The other notable project within the next six months will be the building of a commercial kitchen within our space.”

Lafortune adds the kitchen will let them portion different products, and they would like a community organization to be able to use it in the future.

The food bank thanks the donor pool within the Comox Valley for making the new building possible.

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