Nova Scotia

River John food bank will address significant need, says non-profit

The provincial government has announced $615K for the volunteer-run Community Support Society of River John, which will operate the new facility.

Community Support Society of River John says facility will offer variety of services once it's built

From left to right: Burns Elliott of the River John Lions Club, Community Services Minister Karla MacFarlane, and John McKim, president of the Community Support Society of River John. (Nova Scotia Government)

A non-profit organization says a new food bank to be built in River John, N.S., will help fill a void in the area.

The provincial government announced Wednesday it will give $615,000 to the volunteer-run Community Support Society of River John, which will operate the facility.

"The next closest food bank would be in Tatamagouche, and there's one in Pictou, and we're sort of stuck in the middle," society president John McKim said in an interview.

"People who are in need aren't going to have the funds for gas or transportation to access those locations."

McKim said about 30 per cent of households in River John fall into the income bracket that normally relies on food banks.

The province said the new facility will serve about 3,700 households.

"These are challenging times for Nova Scotians and we must ensure community resources like food banks are supported," said Community Services Minister Karla MacFarlane in a news release. 

Food bank to open this year

The food bank will be constructed on property donated by the River John Lions Club. The majority of funding will cover construction costs, said McKim.

He said the society hopes to break ground in May and have the facility open by the fall. 

The society plans to make the most out of the new building, which will include a community garden. McKim said he'd like to see the facility house a medical practice of some sort because there are no doctors in River John. 

The facility will also be used by local groups, including the 4-H Club, local church groups, health services and the River John Ladies' Group.

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