A new building for the Lake Country Food Bank is a huge step closer to reality thanks to a $100,000 grand prize win in the Aviva Community Fund contest.
Winners of the online contest held by Aviva were announced on Tuesday morning and the food bank project was one of 11 grand prize winners across Canada.
The funding comes at a critical time for the Lake Country Food Bank as the building it has been operating in is up for sale.
“This $100,000 gives us a huge boost towards starting construction this spring,” said Bob Rymarchuk of the Lake Country Rotary Club, the driving force behind plans to construct a new building. “The Food Bank could lose its current facilities at any time.”
The $100,000 from Aviva was seen as a critical influx of cash for the group, which has been working on plans for a new food bank building for the past four years but now seems on the cusp of being able to begin construction.
The District of Lake Country has donated the land for the building while other partnerships are in the works to raise more money and donations of goods as well as construction trades.
The Rotary Club has also requested that Lake Country guarantee $250,000 in funding for temporary financial shortfalls as the project moves ahead. Donations are still about $200,000 short of the estimated cost for construction but Rymarchuk is confident that once it is clear the project will go ahead, local donations will pour in. As well the Rotary Club of Lake Country is continuing to seek other grants and funding sources on behalf of the Food Bank.
“We are hoping that the building will not cost the District of Lake Country anything, in the end,” he said. “But we can’t start committing to construction contracts unless we’re sure we have enough money to pay for them. Council’s backing would make that possible.”
The big push now is for donations from local residents and businesses, to make support from tax revenues unnecessary. The more individual donations come in, the sooner construction can start.
This is the modern equivalent of the old ‘barn raising’ way of doing things,” said Rymarchuk. “It's a community getting together to help itself and solve a problem.”
Donations may be made to The Lake Country Food Assistance Building Fund, please contact them at 250-766-0125. Any donation over $25 will receive an income tax receipt for 2015.