The Storehouse Food Bank
Believes: That everyone has the right to food security and an acceptable standard of living.
Therefore our mission is:
- To provide food, furniture, clothing, household items and resources for hungry people
- to assist those whom we serve to attain a better quality of life by offering support in resolving issues that may accompany hunger and give them access to other agencies in the community that may be able to help them in their particular need
- to educate the public on poverty issues
We strive to ensure that our work has a positive impact by involving individuals, companies, schools and community groups together to end hunger and poverty in our community.
The Storehouse Food Bank
P.O. Box 441, Wellington, ON, K0K 3L0
Bob & Linda Downey | 613-399-1450
Reg. # 80398-8419RR0001 | wellingtonfoodbank.org
On November 1, 2007 I, Linda Downey, became the founder of the Storehouse Food Bank along with my husband Robert Downey, who is also a Prince Edward County Volunteer Firefighter. Since moving to Prince Edward County in 1992, we have both been involved in many volunteer positions, always wanting to help out our communities any way we could.
I first noticed the need to open a food bank in Wellington after listening to some families in Wellington and the surrounding communities telling me of their struggles. I continued to hear stories of their neighbour’s struggles and how these families or individuals were doing without the bare necessities. Some people couldn’t go to the food bank in Picton because they didn’t have rides or the gas for their cars or because they couldn’t get there on the day the food bank was open because of their hours at work. Some of the seniors in need were too sick or frail to travel to Picton.
After a period of time of asking questions and learning more information about food banks, as well as the benefits and disadvantages, I took on the challenge. The county is a pretty big place and to only have one food bank didn’t make sense to me. I wanted to bring awareness to my own community and surrounding communities that something needed to change. Help was needed, people were in trouble, and that some families and seniors were doing without the basic staples. I also wanted to share the load with the Picton United Church County Food Bank by taking care of the communities near Wellington.
Over the years I have learned that it was not only families on government assistance that were struggling but also the working poor and seniors.
The Storehouse Foodbank serves Wellington, Hillier, Consecon, Rosehall, Carrying Place, Ameliasburgh, Rednersville, and families in Bloomfield.
Over the years we have expanded to be more than just a food bank. We do a Back-To-School Fundraiser purchasing backpacks, school supplies and clothing for the children. We do a Snow Suit Campaign to ensure our client’s children have coats, snowsuits, boots, hats & mittens. If we have any extra funds left we also purchase winter clothing for some seniors. At Christmas we do the Christmas Angels trying to make sure each child receives Christmas presents, pajamas, socks, underwear and slippers. We also give out artificial Christmas trees, wrapping bags and ornaments to the families in need. We share our client’s list of names with others charities that are providing the same services in the county to ensure no one is taking advantage. Every Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas each client receives a hamper which includes everything for a holiday meal.
We also accept used clothing, dishes, linens, toys and housewares items which are given to our clients every Wednesday. We have a storage unit that we store furniture in which we donate to anyone who has a need throughout the county. Each week we give out children’s books that are supplied to us by County Kids Read and by donations from other people. The families love the books and have told me how they have improved their children’s reading skills and even their own.
We are a registered charity, a member of the Quinte Regional Food Share Shelter and Ontario Association of Foodbanks. We are located in the Wellington Pentecostal Church at 305 Niles Street. Currently we have 9 people on the board and a list of volunteers that we can call upon when extra help is needed. No one is paid a salary and the only funding we receive is from constant fundraising. I myself volunteer anywhere up to 50 hours a week for the foodbank including weekends and during the holiday season many more hours to ensure that all our clients are taken care of and are able to enjoy the holidays.
I became involved with Vital Signs to bring more awareness to the needs that are in our communities. By getting involved with Vital Signs I also have learned of other services that are available for my clients that I knew nothing about so I am able to pass that information onto them. Through Vital Signs we are now involved with Fresh for All, where farmers and gardeners grow one row of different vegetables or fruit which is donated to our foodbank. Please check out the web-site www.freshforall.ca. We are also involved with Food To Share, where food is prepared, cooked and delivered to our clients every Tuesday in the fall and winter. This service offers our clients a healthy prepared dish. Please check out their web-page at www.foodtoshare.ca. Our clients also volunteer with these programs. We also offer free cooking classes for our clients with some local chefs teaching them healthier cooking techniques and skills. We also have a garden box at Delhi Park in Picton which is part of the community garden which started this spring. If anyone is interested in this project please contact someone at the County Community Foundation www.countycommunityfoundation.ca.
Please feel free to call me at 613-399-1450 for more details, I would be glad to answer any questions you may have.
Linda Downey – President