GRAVENHURST - As of earlier this week, the Gravenhurst Food Bank’s meals have taken wheels and the organization has new surroundings.
On Tuesday, May 1 the local food bank officially began operations with a new host, the Salvation Army Church at 620 Muskoka Rd. North. Volunteers and staff left behind the long-used location at 155 Muskoka Rd. North knowing that the vacant space will soon benefit the Salvation Army Thrift Store’s clientele, while the church site will be far more suitable for the food bank operations.
“I will miss seeing the main street from my office,” said food bank coordinator Jean Tucker as she helped pack up wares on Monday morning for the move. “But it’s going to be nice for us. In a lot of ways the new location is going to be much better for the people and it’s going to be more accessible. Plus, this space (the former food bank location) will be far more suitable for the Thrift Store.”
The food bank will maintain its regular hours at the church, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays and Fridays until 3 p.m., closing from noon until 1 p.m. each day for lunch. People are asked to use the church’s front door and Tucker said someone should be at the church most times. She said their new home has far better bathroom facilities and is far more wheelchair accessible for patrons.
“It might take people some time to get used to the move, but I think it’s going to be better for everyone once they get used to it,” Tucker said.
The Thrift Store will soon be under renovations and will expand to consume the floor space left open by the food bank. Tucker said both operations remain busy and popular in town.
“It has died down a little bit since January for us at the food bank, but it is otherwise still very busy all the time,” she said. “The demand is certainly there.”
The food bank is in need of all non-perishable foodstuffs regardless of the season, but Tucker added they are in particular need of peanut butter, jams, pancake mix and syrup, canned fruit and veggies and caans of stew.
“Those are always in high demand,” she said.
If anyone would like more information about the food bank, to volunteer or to make a donation, contact the church at 705-687-2131. The food bank will be closed today (May 2) for unpacking and setting up at the church, but will resume regular hours for Thursday and Friday.