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Kanata Food Cupboard moves to new location due to increasing food insecurity

Kanata Food Cupboard moves to new location due to increasing food insecurity
Kanata Food Cupboard moves to new location due to increasing food insecurity

The Kanata Food Cupboard is moving to a new location as they see increasing food insecurity in the community.

The food bank is a vital resource for the community, with more than 17,000 Kanata residents, or about one in eight, relying on its support in 2023.

“We are seeing an increase of over 20 percent from last year and each month we are serving approximately 450 families, which equates to approximately 1,800 people,” said Cara-Leigh Wyllie, Executive Director of Kanata Food Cupboard.

Shawna Thibodeau, who runs her own food assistance program, has been extremely busy this year.

“My outreach is about delivering food to people on the street. People are hungry, some have homes, but they can’t afford food. So I bring these items to the center and I also share them with other charities,” Thibodeau said.

She relies on places like Kanata Food Cupboard to supply her with food that is nearing its expiration date, which they can’t give to their clients so they don’t waste it.

“This all might have gone in the trash. There are certain types of meat that people don’t eat. I know people who do,” she said.

But big changes are on the horizon for the food bank.

“We have to move to a new location because we have a new tenant moving into this building,” Wyllie said.

Luckily, the new location is only a three-minute drive from where the food pantry is now. Although the new warehouse is not as large as the current one, they can still store all the food they need.

“Although this is a smaller space, in the past we have traditionally stored our food donations horizontally. But now we have moved to more vertical storage. So we can fit everything we had in the old warehouse into the new warehouse,” said Jessica Matchem, operations manager for Kanata Food Cupboard.

The move is only possible thanks to the help of dozens of volunteers who dedicate their time to the foundation.

“We just want to do what we can to support the community. We know there are a lot of people who are less fortunate or have fallen on hard times because of everything that’s going on. So we help out where we can,” said Chiara Miller, a volunteer.

Thibodeau knows that places like this, regardless of location, are an important part of the community.

“People are starving. People are starving. It’s that simple,” she said.

The Kanata Food Cupboard will open its new doors on July 15 at 1240 Teron Road.