A Historical Summary of the Hinton Food Bank
The Hinton Stop Gap Society was formed in June 1986 led by FCSS staff Dorothy Allan (first chairperson-Heather Doerksen, treasurer-Laura Courtmanche). They had three goals, to create a Food Bank, offer emotional support and assist the unemployed in becoming employed. They began operating in September 1986 as an “action center” in space donated by North Canadian Oils within the Metro building on Government St. In
1989, the Hinton Stop Gap Society struggled with volunteers, adjusting to being open only one evening a week from 7 to 8 p.m. and finally formed a new executive with Ed Stertz-president, Bill Robertson-vice-president, Jeanine Twist-treasurer, and Jim Murray-secretary. The Food Bank relocated for a period of time to Mountainview School and then moved to the upstairs of the Hinton Centre. In the early 1990’s the Kinsmen Club were involved on the executive of the food bank.
From 1996 until 2008, three local residents (Kathy Rees, Terry Thachuk and Richard Ziervogel) ran the Food Bank (originally as a committee of the Hinton Community Center, then forming the legal society—Hinton Food Bank Association in 2002.) They alternated operating the food bank services in 6 week shifts with core groups of volunteers from churches and other community connections. The mission of the HFBA was “to provide food for 2 to 3 days as a stop-gap to people in need or crisis.”
In 2008, the Hinton Rotary Club agreed to take over executive leadership of the Hinton Food Bank Association, committing to have 3 of it’s members or appointees sit on the five member board. The Rotary Club lends continuity, stability, organizing skills and leadership to this vital non-profit service in our community. It applies it’s international motto SERVICE ABOVE SELF to all it’s volunteer work. After finding the space at the Hinton Center and then Government Road rather small to support a food bank operation, we secured a long-term lease at 124 Market Street (formerly Queen’s Bakery) and entirely renovated the building, to enable the 1750 ft2 main floor to operate as an efficiently laid out Food Bank. The official opening of this renovated space was in June 2018. A plaque hangs in the new food bank listing the amazing volunteers and donors who contributed to the leasehold rebuilding of the building to make it a functional space for Hinton Food Bank use. The COMMUNITY HELPING COMMUNITY slogan was adopted in 2019 as it very much represents the way the Hinton Food Bank operates. In 2021, the Food Bank board recognized that the demand and complexity of operating a food bank of our size could no longer rely solely on volunteers, and the decision was made to hire a part-time coordinator. In July 2021, Kate Willis began work and has made our operation that much more efficient and effective.
OUR STRATEGIC DIRECTION
We are stewards in the collection and purchase of food for distribution to people in need in our Hinton community.
To have no more need in the community for the Hinton Food Bank
Our “Clients”…..Who We Serve
We cater to families and individuals in a variety of situations, ranging from single-parents, those on fixed incomes, the working poor, the under or unemployed, and those with other social or economic barriers.
Our services include:
– provide food and other staples to those in need in Hinton and are
– informing clients about other support services.
– advocating for policies to reduce the demand for food bank service.
We have been providing emergency food services to our clients…citizens of Hinton and area since 1986.
In addition to providing food hampers weekly to clients in Need, Hinton Food Bank does:
1. Provide clients:
— with fresh food vouchers to purchase milk, dairy, vegetables and fruits from any local grocery store.
— non-food items in the hampers including toiletries, baby supplies, safety items, and transit tickets.
–community garden plots to some food bank clients annually to grow their own fresh produce.
–brochures and posters to refer to other social services and events.
–commercially cooked meals when available.
2. Provide other helping agencies with food for their clients. i.e. HELP, Hinton Youth Center, and Yellowhead Women’s Shelter.
3. Coordinate with our provincial and federal associations to advocate for poverty reduction initiatives.
Current Board of Directors
Bernie Kreiner, Chairperson
Brian Laberge, Vice Chair
Brenda Clark, Treasurer
Harry Arnesen, Secretary
Lisa Cumby, Director
Food Bank needs all three: food, funds and volunteers.
We encourage our donors to contribute in a way that is meaningful to them. Our motto is COMMUNITY HELPING COMMUNITY.
– Money helps us with operating costs. It keeps the lights on and our doors open. We are fortunate to have significant bulk buying power to buy the food items we need most.
– Food is always welcome, no self-preserves or chocolate please.
– Volunteers are so important to operating our food bank as we are primarily volunteer run.