After a year-long search, organizers have found a new home for an East End food bank.
The weekly food bank, which serves about 200 households, is expected to re-open by early October in a Danforth Avenue storefront near Woodbine Avenue.
Previously hosted by Woodbine Heights Baptist Church, the food bank had to close on Aug. 20 for lack of a new venue, leaving many East York residents without a food bank nearby.
“It’s good for the community,” said Gail Nyberg, executive director of the Daily Bread Food Bank, a charity that supports the food bank and a network of 200 other food programs across Toronto.
Nyberg said Daily Bread is close to signing a lease for the Danforth location with a condo developer, and details will be available soon.
The developer was prompted to help out after a call from the Danforth East Community Association, which spread news about the need for a new location after reading about it in the Beach Metro News. Local Beaches-East York MPP Arthur Potts also joined the effort to find the new location.
After nine years of service, the congregation at Woodbine Heights Baptist Church began canvassing the neighbourhood over a year ago to find another East End group to take over.
That call was answered first by volunteers from Friends of Jesus Christ Church.
While their own church is a half-hour north of Woodbine Heights, ten volunteers offered to keep the program running at Woodbine Heights Baptist while the search for a new venue continued.
Those volunteers are now getting ready to run the food bank at its new location, supported by local high school students doing their community service.
“We’re looking forward to the new site,” said Pastor Teck Uy, adding that many of the volunteers had already spent several years helping at food banks before joining the one at Woodbine Heights.
“It’s just serving the people, they like it,” he said. “Once they experience it, they want to go back.”
With both fresh and non-perishable food, the food bank will serve people who live in the neighbourhoods from Danforth Avenue north to O’Connor Avenue, and from Donlands Avenue east to Main Street.
Details on the new location, including opening hours and volunteer opportunities, will be published in a future edition of the Beach Metro News.