Captain Sean Furey of the Salvation Army is changing a few things about how the food bank in Port aux Basques is run.
© Brodie Thomas photo
Captain Sean Furey holds a bottle of jam in the Salvation Army's food bank. He said jam is one of the items they could use more of, although they have lots of canned goods and pasta at the moment. Capt. Furey is also welcoming fresh and frozen food.
Most importantly, he wants anyone in need to know that they are open for business every day.
He said in past years clients have been told it was closed during the summer, or only available certain days of the week. That is no longer the case.
“People are not only hungry one day a week,” said Capt. Furey.
He said clients from outside of town might only be able to afford to come to Port aux Basques one day a week, and if they can’t line up their doctor’s appointment with a food bank visit, then the food bank isn’t working.
Capt. Furey said since taking over the food bank in July, he has not had any problems with getting a supply of food. Last Wednesday night the Salvation Army had a successful food drive in Port aux Basques to coincide with the closing night of Scott’s Cove Park.
While quantity of food has been great, Capt. Furey said quality and freshness is something he hopes will improve over time.
Although all food is welcome, people tend to focus on can goods and dry pasta. Salt content is often high in canned goods, and Capt. Furey hopes clients could have access to a wide range of food items.
“All this can stuff – if that’s all you’re eating you’re really doing damage to yourself.”
The food bank has fridges and freezers. Capt. Furey hopes to fill them.
“Moose season is open now – I’ll even take donators of moose if people want to give it to me,” he said.
Raw ingredients like flour and bags of sugar also keep well on the shelf, according to Capt. Furey.
He said he has met with both local grocery stores and he sees good relationships with both stores developing. One is regularly donating food, while the other is planning a large fundraiser in coming weeks.
For Susanne Ingram, executive Director of the Gateway Womens’ Centre, the changes to the food bank are welcome.
She said the need varies from week to week, but when people do need food form the food bank, it is often pressing.
There were two times this summer when Mrs. Ingram couldn’t access the food bank because Capt. Furey was away, and there was nobody else available to open it.
“To be able to meet our clients need at that time I gathered food from family and friends,” she said.
She has since met with the Salvation Army and has confidence in what Capt. Furey is planning.
“I feel very good about what they’re doing,” she said.