/Food Centre thanks community in 2021 update
The Minden Community Food Centre’s second drive-through Christmas hamper program during the pandemic served about 170 families. /Photo submitted

Food Centre thanks community in 2021 update

The Minden Community Food Centre stayed busy in 2021, distributing about 81,000 pounds of food to people in need.

“MCFC continues to be busy, especially in the first, third and fourth quarter, as many find work in the summer months,” reads a 2021 update, shared last week. “During COVID-19, it is almost impossible to predict with any accuracy the stats on clients and client visits. Many regular clients received funds from government programs. Our number of registered clients has increased substantially but the actual number of client visits remain about the same, but with irregular visits from regular clients being replaced with new COVID-related clients coming.” 

Donations to the Minden Community Food Centre last year ranged from five dollars, to ten thousand dollars. In the food centre’s 2021 report, these donations – from individuals, businesses, service clubs, Minden Hills township, through grants and other organizations – as well as donations of food, personal care items and toys are acknowledged, with the report noting, “they all are very appreciated.”

As well as food, personal care items and toys, the food centre also helps by operating a lending library for medical equipment such as walkers and wheelchairs. 

“We accept donations of these pieces of equipment when a family member no longer needs them,” reads the report.

Volunteers at the centre are also appreciated. Normally, the Minden Community Food Centre operates with 40 to 45 active volunteers. 

“At the outset of COVID, a small group of working volunteers were working,” reads the report. “They felt comfortable in their small group and chose to continue with their small group until things improve and they felt safe with new people. This continued for about 19 months at which time six volunteers who had not travelled came back to MCFC as volunteers … Our volunteers are mostly in their 70s and 80s so we are very cautious.” 

The Christmas hamper program operated in a drive-through manner for the second year last December, serving about 170 families with either turkey or ham dinners, a week of groceries and toys for the children.

“MCFC has enjoyed another successful year and continues to support programs helping children, sharing meat and other products with all of the other Haliburton food banks,” reads the report.

The food centre building, at 24 Newcastle Street in Minden, is now seven years old.

“We partnered with the Acadia Masonic Lodge to create a wonderful place for people to come when they need food, but have grown to offer much more,” reads the report. “The main level is about six times the size of our facility to include a larger serving area and a hub to store surplus foods. This allows us to purchase in bulk at reduced costs and the ability to serve more with fewer donated dollars.”

The facility’s walk-in outside freezer and an indoor walk-in refrigerator plus numerous freezers and refrigerators has helped organize and manage food supply.

“Because our numbers continue to increase, this facility has truly been a blessing,” reads the report. 

For questions, more information or to donate, please visit mindenfoodbank.org.