Interior Savings presents a cheque for $15,000 during the Lake Country Food Bank’s basement unveiling Wednesday, May 30 to manager Joy Haxton. - Contributed

Lake Country Food Bank celebrates expansion

The food bank’s basement has been renovated to carry more perishable food items

The Lake Country Food Bank is able to serve more people fresh produce with its latest expansion.

The food bank unveiled its newly renovated basement Wednesday afternoon to thank various donors for funding the project.

The basement cost $180,000 and contains additional fridges and freezers for perishable food items. According to manager Joy Haxton, the food bank expects it to be fully open in the next month. The basement has been under construction since November 2017.

“I think food recovery is near and dear to us now. I don’t think people like to see food go to waste. So it’s about redirecting food back into the food chain versus it going out into landfills or spoiling,” she said.

“It was about getting the infrastructure in place to safely handle that food.”

A heating system will still need to be installed after more funding is collected.

“It’s such a supportive community, with the Rotary (Club) doing the building and the district allowing us the use of our building,” Haxton said.

The food bank also has a new food truck, which services eight food banks as far as Salmon Arm and Cherryville, distributing nonperishable and perishable food items.

“It will be a huge bonus to us locally, but also to the food banks to the north,” Haxton said.

“They’re very impressive coolers and freezers.”

The food bank is now dealing with more perishables and is able to distribute them to the north, as well as receive from them, she said.

The Central Okanagan Community Foundation, Northern Community Foundation and Food Banks BC provided funds for the $129,000 truck, which can hold just under 5,000 pounds of food. It also houses a fridge and freezer.

As a pilot project, the truck is co-owned with Cherryville Community Food Bank.

The Central Okanagan Food Bank also celebrated its grand opening Wednesday. The food bank in Kelowna operates like a grocery store, with clients selecting food off the shelves for themselves.

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