Kelowna meals financial institution is getting a brand new house

The Central Okanagan Food Bank is getting a new home – and it’s a massive upgrade from their current location.

Currently located at 1265 Ellis St, the food bank will be moving to 2310 Enterprise Way.

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<p>According to Lenetta Parry, Executive Director of the Central Okanagan Food Bank, the move is long overdue.</p>
<p>“We outgrew our current Ellis Street location a few years ago,” said Parry. “In fact, we have been operating out of off-site storage locations for the past two years which is not an effective or efficient way to manage inventory, plus it is costly, between transportation, labour, and storage fees.”</p>
<p><img alt= Google Street View current location on 1265 Ellis St.” data-src=”” style=”margin: 5px;”/>

The food bank established a New Building Committee three years ago and only found out about the new property in April.

According to Helen Holton, President of the Central Okanagan Community Food Bank Society, the new location is almost double the size of their current location on Ellis Street.

“Our new location is nearly 19,000 square feet, almost double our current location,” said Holton. “Ceiling heights are 18 and 24 feet versus the current 13, there are two loading docks and 23 on-site parking stalls. This property fit all our criteria in terms of size, features, location and visibility.”

The new space will allow the society to expand their current operations and add features that couldn’t exist in their current location.

For example, with a massive storefront area, the society will be able to create more of a grocery-style experience for clients by adding features such as reach-in coolers, freezers and display racking.

“This is an opportunity to do food banking differently,” said Parry. “We will create an inviting space where seniors and families feel welcome. We believe this new approach will improve self-worth and confidence among our clients, especially families, children and seniors and will reduce the stigma surrounding food banks and food insecurity.”

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<p>The purchase of the new building was largely made possible by community support. The total cost of the building came to $3.45 million.</p>
<p>“The food bank had $1.2million in restricted funds that were directed solely towards the new building. The remaining funds will come from the sale of our current location,” said Kevin Smith, Treasurer of the food bank. “When we ran the numbers, the purchase and timing of this building just made sense. We had the money restricted, the building was available for purchase, the building met all our operating needs and we were spending $4,000-$8,000 per month on additional warehouse space.”</p>
<p>Currently, there is no official opening date and it’s expected that the food bank will continue to operate on Ellis Street for the foreseeable future.</p>
<p>“There is no official opening date, obviously, we want to move as soon as possible,” said Parry. “The board of directors has begun planning the new facility and are preparing to sell our current property.” </p>
<p>Ultimately, Parry is confident that the new model of Food Banking will be innovative, leading edge and will inspire food banks across Canada.</p>
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