C. Wellington Food Bank move

The Centre Wellington Food Bank offi­cially opened its new home at the Fergus Marketplace on Nov. 22.

The spacious section of the building holds shelves and shel­ves of food and drink, as well as clothing that organizers sort, size, and then give away to the needy.

President of the board of directors Jackie Andrews welcomed everyone to the open­ing. Over two dozen sup­porters and volunteers attend­ed.

Food bank manager Fred Aleksandrowicz said the build­ing is “beyond our wildest dreams.”

Others noted that many volunteers worked long and hard to get the building ready, and that Aleksandrowicz him­self, who was supposed to be working there only 30 hours a week, often spent up to 100 hours to ensure the work got done. Others, too, joked about needing a cot in the back after many hours of labour.

Aleksandrowicz said that one thing that particularly pleas­­ed him is that during the renovations to the new facility, he is proud the old food bank on St. Andrew Street East was always open for business.

Todd Jacques, of the On­tario Association of Food Banks was on hand for the open­ing and he congratulated everyone involved with the move.

“I’ve seen some organiza­tions fail at it,” he said of a move like this one. He added that this is one of the better locations he has seen. Jacques added the opening is “bittersweet” because, “Why do we have to be here as a food bank?”

Aleksandrowicz said that last year there were 132 people using the food bank, and there currently are 271. “We will hit 300 before Christmas.”

He noted he had received a letter from one client but he was unable to read it without getting tears in his eyes. One line stated, “Because alone, without your help, many such as I, would not survive.”

Organizers cited huge com­munity response to the plight of those who suddenly find them­selves needed a way to put food on the table for their families.

Aleksandrowicz noted that the OPP Auxiliary’s Stuff a Cruiser” even has gone from 5,000 pounds collected last year to over 11,000 pounds this year.

As well, the cash donations that it collects  went from $1,200 in 2008 to over $2,700 this year.

Andrews noted that when the food bank moved, it received plenty of volunteer help.

“We have a very supportive community,” she said, noting that many of the people who use the food bank stopped by to help with the move.

Councillor Fred Morris rep­resented Mayor Joanne Ross-Zuj at the opening and thanked everyone involved in the opening of a new home for the organization.

Morris noted the difficult economic times and said, “We’re glad you’re here.”