The St. Margaret’s Bay Food Bank was started 20 years ago by Milton Hubley, from Seabright, with assistance from St. Margaret’s Bay Lions Club.
It was first located above White Sails Bakery in Tantallon. In 2009 it moved to its present location in the basement of the Shambhala Centre on the Peggy’s Cove Road. The Food Bank boundaries are as follows: Highway #333, Peggy’s Cove to the Crossroads; Highway #3 from the Crossroads to Hubbards; Highway #3 from the Crossroads to Exit 4, Highway 103; and Highway #213 Hammonds Plains Road to the Pockwock intersection.
We are subsidized by Feed Nova Scotia and we currently assist 105± families in our community. Families and individuals are permitted to pick up food once a month. Depending on the family size, the average cost per visit can range from $75.00 to $150.00.
Several food drives are held throughout the year – one of the more successful food drives is held in November by Haliburton Hills and Westwood Hills Subdivision homeowners associations, which results in approximately 200± boxes of food which helps our families through the winter months. Throughout the year, and especially at Christmas time, various Churches, Parishes, schools, clubs, organizations and businesses donate to the Food Bank.
One of the biggest and successful fund raising events that takes place each year is the Annual Road Toll. Last year – in a pouring rain storm – we collected $8,500!! This year the event takes place on Saturday, September 21st, at Sobeys and Superstore. It requires approximately 45 volunteers for this 9 hour project. If you would like to volunteer a few hours of your time for this event, please contact Gary Meade (826-2567).
You may ask where the funds go? To operate the Food Bank we require a Manager and an Assistant Manager. Other expenses are for rent, electricity (heat and lights), telephone, appliances, snow removal and maintenance of our shop. In addition to food items provided by Feed Nova Scotia, we supplement these with items they do not provide – perishable food items such as meats, fish, poultry, vegetables, fruits, dairy, and health and beauty toiletry items, which we purchase from Sobeys and Superstore.
Prior to Christmas we prepare ‘Christmas Hampers’ for 100± local families. We would like to thank St. Nicholas Church for offering their facilities this past year as a location to make up the hampers and as a distribution/pick up location. Each hamper is worth approximately $100. In addition to food items, each family also receives knitted items (mitts, hats, scarves, socks, etc.) made by local area volunteers.
The myth is the Food Bank is only for people on social assistance or unemployed. The Food Bank is also there for the working poor! If you or family members require our assistance, please visit or refer them to the Food Bank. We are open from Tuesday to Saturday, 11:00 am – 4:00 pm.
The Food Bank also operates a Thrift Store at the same location. We offer the most reasonable prices for good quality used clothing, sometimes new, in St. Margaret’s Bay! We also have a lot of ‘treasures’ – many household items.
The Food Bank/Thrift Store operates with the assistance of approximately 23 volunteers from our area – this includes emptying the clothing bins, sorting the items brought to the food bank, hanging and displaying items, etc., and twice a year we transition our inventory from fall/winter to spring/summer. If you can spare a few hours a week and would like to volunteer, please see Kathleen Jennings, Manager, during normal hours of operation.