Nova Scotia

New hope for closing Hantsport food bank

There may be a solution to keep the doors of the Hantsport Community Food Bank open.

Food bank evicted during peak season

Volunteers load Christmas hampers from the food bank. (CBC)

The Hantsport Community Food Bank may have been given the "miracle" volunteers were hoping for.

The building that houses the food bank has been sold, leaving its volunteers scrambling to find a new home. But after speaking with the new owner, the head of the food bank said they may be able to stay put afterall.

"We are now looking at possibly a glimmer of hope with the new purchaser," said Shirley Bishop. "I would describe what has happened as probably a lack of communication on all parties."

The new owner wants to open a business in the William Street building. Thursday, a planner will arrive to see if there's enough space to operate both the store and the food bank.

"It is definitely a possibility. If it does work out, it would be wonderful," said Bishop.

If there is space, the two sides will then have to negotiate the rent. Bishop said they're focusing on the space first.

Need grows

Bishop said the eviction notice came during the busiest week of the year. The food bank distributed 50 Christmas hampers on Wednesday to those in need.

She said there is a desperate need in the community.

"We had a lady in here this morning whose power has been turned off, and she's trying to manage with some wood to cook her meals."

It's also been a hard week for many workers in the area.

"One of our main industries, Minas Basin, will be shutting its doors as of Friday, putting over 100 employees out of work, and we've already started to get some calls from them as well as our present clients."

That's not the only hit. Mason Apples in nearby Windsor has gone into bankruptcy, throwing another 30 fulltime people out of work.

Even if the food bank can stay, it will remain closed as the building is renovated.

Any leftover food from the food bank is now being put into storage. In the meantime, Bishop said people in the area who need help filling their cupboards will need to call Feed Nova Scotia.