Nfld. & Labrador

Despite fire, business as usual for Community Food Sharing Association

The Community Food Sharing Association didn't miss a shipment, thanks to quick action by the community and province.

Volunteers now needed to get shipments ready to go

Eg Walters, general manager of the Community Food Sharing Association, says as fast as they get food boxed up to ship out, more comes in to replace it. (CBC)

Nine days after a fire destroyed all the food in Newfoundland and Labrador's largest food bank distribution centre, the Community Food Sharing Association is packing boxes for shipment again.

According to general manager Eg Walters, there has been no disruption in the association's ability to provide goods to food banks around the province.

The fire destroyed more than $300,000 worth of food, which the community has rallied to replace.

The Community Food Sharing Association is filled with cages of food, as donations pour in. (Cecil Haire/CBC)

"I'd say we're about halfway there," Walters said. "We know there's a lot of food drives that are still going on and schools are having tremendous food drives. So I would say that by the time that the dust settles we'll be close to recuperating most of what we lost."

On top of the non-perishable donations, the Community Food Sharing Association has also seen a spike in cash donations and pledges — almost $400,000 since the fire on Jan. 30.

A wall of banana boxes

The province also kicked in with a new warehouse, located at a former Eastern Health facility on Pippy Place in St. John's. The association can use it free of charge — no rent or electricity bills — for six months.

A room in that warehouse is now filled with more than 300 banana boxes, stocked with food by volunteers, ready to be sent to food banks around the province.

One room in the new food sharing warehouse is full of banana boxes, piled nearly to the ceiling. (CBC)

With one shipment ready to go, Walters said, they now need more people to help pack boxes for shipment.

"The way food has been coming in, as quick as we get it boxed, the cage is filled up and has to be boxed again," Walters said. "Which is a good problem to have, really."

Read more from CBC Newfoundland and Labrador

With files from Cecil Haire

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