PORT ELGIN, N.B. – Thanks to the generosity of people far and wide, the shelves of the Pedvac food bank in Port Elgin are once again stocked with nutritious foods.
“We can’t believe the response we’ve had to our fundraising appeal for the food bank. People have been so kind-hearted and generous, it’s humbling,” Val MacDermid, executive director of the Port Elgin District Voluntary Action Council (Pedvac), said last week.
Once the dust of the holiday season had settled in the New Year, food supplies in the Pedvac food bank – like many other food banks everywhere – had dwindled to almost nothing. Several weeks ago, with a critical need at hand, Pedvac undertook an emergency fundraiser with the goal of raising $5,000 in six weeks. But the overwhelming response saw the fund swell to just over $7,000 in only four weeks, with every last cent going to purchase food.
“It’s just been so overwhelming; when there is a need, people just step up and help. We can’t thank people enough for their thoughtfulness. We’ve had people from outside of the area send donations, many people in our own area have sent e-transfers and cheques and others have dropped by with monetary donations,” MacDermid said.
The much-needed funds will certainly help put food on the tables of people in need. Some 65 families and individuals in the Port Elgin region get assistance from Pedvac’s food bank throughout the year, executive assistance Anne Goodwin also said Friday.
“People don’t abuse the food bank; after all, no one visits a food bank unless they really have no other recourse,” Goodwin said.
Pedvac’s food bank is open four mornings a week, Tuesday through Friday, from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and pick-up is very discreet. Persons who may need to visit the food bank for the first time are encouraged to call Pedvac in advance and then come in person to register for the service.
“Our database of clients and usage is kept strictly confidential. Food bank clients are restricted to two visits to the food bank per month,” Goodwin noted.
The fundraising initiative has allowed Pedvac to fill its food bank shelves for the next couple months, but a continual need remains year round.
“All donations are gratefully accepted at any time of the year, as well as donations of nutritious non-perishable foods and fresh foods in season. Pedvac, and the people it serves, is fortunate to have such wonderful, generous friends who help out, in many ways, throughout each year,” Goodwin noted, adding that official tax receipts are issued for donations of $10 and over.
Pedvac is a well-respected registered charity offering many needed services to area residents, including a school lunch program for the children of food bank clients, a used clothing store, Christmas food and gift boxes, a teaching garden with a large greenhouse, a teaching kitchen to help people of all ages to prepare nutritious meals on a budget, many children’s programs, free income tax preparation for lower income individuals, assistance for individuals having difficulties with government programs, special classes and workshops for mental health wellness and other programs as needed.
For more information about the food bank and any other services provided at Pedvac, or to volunteer or make a donation, contact Pedvac at 506-538-7638, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pedvac is located at 12 Church St. in Port Elgin.