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Team RBC lends a helping hand at the food bank (3 photos)

Bradford West Gwillimbury food bank supplies run low each summer, especially canned fish, meats and peanut butter

RBC has a community outreach that goes beyond the branch.

Team RBC volunteers roll up their sleeves and get involved in community projects, like a recent work day at Scanlon Creek Conservation Area, and just this week, lending a hand at the Helping Hand Food Bank in Bradford.

Led by Bradford community manager Wayne Brakeboer, five RBC staff members and a student volunteer from Holy Trinity Catholic High School arrived at the food bank on Wednesday, ready to help clean up, sort donations and restock the shelves.

In the storeroom, they unpacked the weekly donations from Walmart, Sobeys and no frills, sorting beans, canned vegetables, soups, pastas, cereals and other items not only by food type, but by ‘best before’ date – setting aside any dented cans or items near ‘best before’ for the ‘free’ shelf at the food bank.

Food bank president Anne Silvey explained that registered food bank clients receive a certain number of points each month, based on the number of people in their family unit. They “spend” the points at the food bank, choosing what they want from the selection on the shelves.

The exception is the “free shelf," where dinged and dented cans, and items slightly past the ‘best before’ date, are available without expending any points, to anyone who wants them.

Midweek, the food bank shelves were in need of re-stocking. “This time of year, we’re running down,” said Silvey. The schools, a major source of food donations through the school year, are closed for the summer, and supplies of some items – especially canned fish, meats and peanut butter – are running low.

The food bank, located at 123 Moore St. in Bradford, is open three days a week, Mondays and Wednesdays from 1 to 2 p.m., and Fridays from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Registered clients are welcome to come in once a week, whichever day is most convenient, until their points are ‘spent.’

Donations were sorted under the supervision of William Silvey. “It’s organized chaos,” he said. “It’s a well-oiled machine,” that runs on volunteer power to keep the shelves supplied.

“I can’t imagine trying to do this without the dedication of all these volunteers,” said Anne. “I’m sure they saved me a week’s worth of work.”

Miriam King

About the Author: Miriam King

Miriam King is a journalist and photographer with Bradford Today, covering news and events in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Innisfil.
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