Highlands East Wins Trillium Funds to Build Major Food Bank Hub

By Valerie Hunnius

Thanks to the Ontario Trillium Foundation, funds have been granted to the Municipality of Highlands East to build the Wilberforce Food Centre, as an addition to the Lloyd Watson Community Centre.  The grant of $141,000 will cover the entire cost of the building, which will include a walk-in freezer and fridge, and will create the capacity to acquire, store and distribute more food than has been possible before.  Also, healthier foods, such as dairy products and fresh produce will be stored at the facility.

The unit will house the existing Wilberforce Food Bank but will also operate as a large food storage hub, with opportunity for sharing with community partners like Supportive Initiatives for Residents in the County of Haliburton (SIRCH),  Haliburton’s other food banks and Shepherd’s Table.  It will complement the large food storage hub in Minden. Following consultations with  key stakeholders in December and public consultations in January, it is hoped the project will be tendered and contracted in the spring, with a target date for completion by end of summer or early fall.