The Cranbrook Food Bank Society is on the receiving end of a $250,000 gift, courtesy of B.C.’s gaming grants, which will be earmarked for the Food Bank’s new facility, currently under construction in Cranbrook’s industrial section.
The Provincial government made the announcement Tuesday, January 19.
While there’s no change in B.C.’s $ 140 million annual budget for thousands of community grants funded by casino and lottery funds, the priorities for grants have been altered to meet the extra needs of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Cranbrook Food Bank project was one of four highlighted by the BC Ministry of Municipal Affairs for the first round of grants.
School parent advisory councils were notified of their capital project grant applications at the end of October, and arts, culture, sports, public safety and environment project applicants have to wait until the end of February.
Municipal Affairs Minister Jody Osborne, the former mayor of Tofino, highlighted four projects Jan. 19 that she said meet the most pressing needs. They include the $250,000 grant to build a new facility for the Cranbrook Food Bank Society, the same amount for a community kitchen in Sechelt operated by the Sunshine Coast Community Services Society, and $240,000 to renovate the kitchen for the Potluck Café Society in Vancouver’s downtown east side.
Construction on the Cranbrook Food Bank’s new building started in October, 2020, at 1624 Industrial Road 2. It will be 6,300 square feet, and allow for storage and distribution of food at one location, rather than two like they are currently operating in Cranbrook’s downtown. Construction was originally set to be finished by the end of February this year.
Columbia Basin Trust provided $300,000 towards the building and equipment, while New Dawn Developments were awarded the contract.
With the new facility, the Food Bank Society will be able to house two additional programs including the Cranbrook Food Recovery Program and the Farm Kitchen, which are both run by the Community Connections Society of Southeast BC.The full list of capital grants to 53 non-profits has not yet been released, but it includes more urban facilities in North Vancouver, Vancouver and Burnaby.
Gaming grants also fund six different sectors to run programs totalling $135 million a year.
With files from Corey Bullock and Tom Fletcher