Home Blog April 2016 Strategic investments make a big difference

Strategic investments make a big difference

Strategic investments make a big difference
A significant portion of the work we do involves helping to build the capacity of food banks. One of the ways we do that is through our Capacity Boost Grant, funded by the Kraft Heinz Company in Canada.
But what exactly do we mean by “building capacity”?

Well, many food banks need support for their essential operations in order to meet the needs of their community. The Capacity Boost Grant helps by providing financial assistance for structural improvements or equipment purchases. These initiatives help food banks distribute food to more people, improve the quality and diversity of food through access to refrigeration equipment, and be more efficient in their work with oversized shelving.

Whether large or small in scope, all the projects funded make a very real difference to the food banks who receive them and the people they serve.

Smart investments
For example, East Wellington Community Services in Ontario received a grant to purchase some small but important items, including:

· New shelving and tables to replace the existing rusting and broken 
equipment. Now staff and volunteers work in a safe environment and can sort and store food more efficiently.
· Basic cooking equipment such as a slow cooker and mixing bowls. Staff can now prepare recipes using less familiar ingredients from the hampers, so that food bank clients can sample the dish, take the recipe, and cook these foods at home for their families.
· A heavy duty metal shopping cart. Clients with physical limitations now have an easier time transporting food.

“One of our clients is a young mother who suffered a stroke and, although active, continues to battle many physical limitations,” says Erika Westcott of East Wellington Community Services. “She is able to collect the items she needs in the cart without obstructions and get the food to her car. This offers her independence and self-sufficiency when using our services.”

Small but mighty
Meanwhile, Rosetown and District Food Bank in Saskatchewan envisioned a complete overhaul of their facility.

Working out of just 240 square feet, the volunteer-run organization used clever design and cost-effective materials to make their space and their funding work hard.The remodeled food bank includes space-efficient units that have doubled their storage capacity. Now they can buy items on sale in bulk, which saves them more than 30% on food purchases.
Pull-out shelving enables volunteers to rotate foods easily to avoid wastage from outdated products.
And the space is so efficient, reports Joan Robbie, Chairperson, that “food drives are now sorted and put away in about a third of the time previously required.” 

At the end of the day, this investment to save time and money will enable Rosetown to help many more people for years to come. 

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of food distributed by Canadian food banks is fresh (eg. milk, eggs, fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, bread)