The Chemainus Harvest House Food Bank is the recipient of two new 49 cubic foot freezers and a 49 cubic foot fridge through the generosity of Food Banks Canada and the Walmart Foundation.
Harvest House applied for a Capacity Boost Grant through Food Banks Canada and volunteers were left on pins and needles awaiting a reply before receiving word of approval for the much-needed appliances.
The new refrigeration system enables Harvest House to provide a more diverse selection of perishable foods to those in need in the community. Fresh fruits and vegetables, dairy products and meats will now be offered to clients on a weekly basis rather than only once a month.
“We are so appreciative of Food Banks Canada and Walmart Foundation for recognizing our needs,” said Jan Aikman, chair of Harvest House. “Receiving the $11,000 was a dream come true. Our old chest freezers were 18+ years old and had limited space.”
Harvest House offers food bank services in both Chemainus and Crofton through the Chemainus United Church basement and the Warmland Community Church, respectively.
Moving the 450-pound units into the United Church basement was no easy feat and four individuals made it happen with their perseverance and ingenuity.
Travis Waller, Wayne McCallum, Ryan Little and Allan Aikman worked for 3 1/2 hours on the rainiest day in June to get these two freezers and one fridge into the building. Waller manoeuvred a HIAB in order to lasso the heavy units and gently lower them into the guiding hands of McCallum, Little and Aikman.
It was a huge joint effort and Harvest House cannot thank these gentlemen enough, noted Jan Aikman. The units have been operational since June 4 and she appreciates the efforts of everyone involved in the venture.