The short answer to that frequently asked question is … no.
I’ll admit however that it’s an easy assumption to make given that our Food Distribution Centre will do many of the same things as a food bank: take in, store and distribute food. What sets us apart (and makes us unique I think) is that unlike a food bank whose clients are individuals and families in need, our clients are the food banks themselves.
The Food Distribution Centre is basically a food bank for food banks. And for community meal providers, student nutrition programs, and not-for-profits with food as part of their programs.
There are nine food banks in Perth County doing the vitally important work of providing emergency food to people in need. It is our mandate to supplement their existing food supply with the most healthful foods we can obtain. Food security is about people having a choice in what they put on their table, and we are working to increase access and availability of healthy (and as much as possible fresh and local!) food in the emergency food system so food bank clients can make more nutritious and delicious choices. We are developing a healthy food policy to guide us as we source and procure products and develop relationships with farmers, producers and other players in the Ontario food scene.
Just this week I had an excellent opportunity to meet some of our area’s farmers at the Perth County Regional Food Summit. I’ve also been connecting with healthy food distributors like the Ontario Natural Food Co-op to let them know our plans and invite them to work with us. Last week I made a fantastic connection with the Huron County Foodbank Distribution Centre and pledged to cooperate with them at every opportunity possible. Soon we will be ready to open our doors and start connecting Perth County not-for-profits with a steady supply of high quality food!