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Saugeen First Nation Food Bank Coordinator Melissa Snowdon with daughter Everlea and Program Support employee Erin Kewaquom inside the Food Bank located at 37 Mason Drive.

Hub Staff

Still in their first year of operation, the Saugeen First Nation Food Bank already has plans to expand to a permanent location that offers more storage space, food prep areas, community eating areas with the goal of providing community suppers and cultural teachings.

The Food Bank opened its doors in March of 2018 at 37 Mason Drive and has over 140 people registered for its food program, seeing on average 60 to 80 community members accessing the food service per month.

Food Bank Coordinator Melissa Snowdon said that because they are still a new service, over 95 percent of their funds go toward administration and purchasing food to fulfill client needs. “We purchase a lot of our food so that budget is pretty extensive compared to how other food banks operate,” she said.

The Saugeen First Nation Food Bank is currently housed inside a portable and Snowdon said that beyond securing a larger space she has additional goals of creating more community connections and partnerships. Finding ways to raise funds going into their second year is also a priority.

When Southampton clothing store Bliss closed down its doors, owner Jackie Rowley donated clothing racks and jewellery and the goal is to eventually turn the Food Bank into a thrift store to help offset costs. In November the jewellery was auctioned off through a silent auction and the clothing is available at the Food Bank for free for anyone in need.

Program Support employee Erin Kewaquom thanked community partner Pier Donnini, owner of the Queen’s Bar & Grill in Port Elgin for his contribution in December where he, along with Living Hope Christian Centre and a team of volunteers, prepared and delivered approximately 400 Christmas dinners. “It was such an amazing thing for him to do for our community,“ she said. Kewaquom is currently covering Snowdon’s position while Snowdon is on Maternity leave.

An option for freshly grown food is also a goal as the Food Bank will oversee a community garden program which includes 10 acres of land. A third will be dedicated to annual vegetables such as potatoes, leafy greens, tomatoes and carrots and the other two thirds is occupied by fruit trees. Seeding the garden is set to take place in early spring.

Anyone wishing to donate food and items such as baby formula, toilet paper and personal hygiene products to the Saugeen First Nation Food Bank can do so at 37 Mason Drive or the Saugeen Gas Bar. The Foodbank operates on a bi-weekly basis three days a week, Wednesday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

Staff members request that initial contact be made to confirm the office is open prior to delivering donations.

More information is available at saugeenfirstnation.ca/food-bank-2.

clothing

In addition to food and other products, the Saugeen First Nation Food Bank features a small sample of free clothing.

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