Julie Druker | Mar 01, 2012
Photo: Ruby and Gary Malcolm (seated) cut the ribbon at Denbigh's Community Food Bank opening.
Members of the Denbigh Griffith Lions Club, the Lakelands Family Health Team, Addington Highlands Council and the community at large joined in celebration at a special ribbon cutting ceremony on Feb. 28 at the new Addington Highlands Communty Centre-Denbigh, the new location of Denbigh's Community Food Bank.
Cutting the ribbon were Ruby and Gary Malcolm, two long-time Denbigh residents who have been operating the food bank there for over 10 years now.
Ruby informed me of how she and her husband came to take the reins of this very needed community service. “The Community Food Bank was originally started 10 years back by Rev. Angela Corey at the Denbigh United Church. When she was transferred to Nova Scotia, we really hated the idea of seeing the service be discontinued so we decided to take it over.”
Ruby said that having worked at the Denbigh Public School for 10 years before retiring in 1990, she saw first hand the people in the community who were going hungry. “That was one of the main reasons we decided to keep the service running.".
The food bank was formerly run out of the basement of St. Luke's United church, which meant hauling heavy boxes of canned goods up and down numerous stairs, so the Malcolms are grateful for the new location. Ruby served on the planning committee for the new community center and specifically asked if there might be space in the building where they could relocate the food bank. She was thrilled when the committee agreed.
The food bank now sits in the former office of the school principal. Completely funded by donations, the food bank accepts all kinds of non-perishable food items and cash donations. The money is used to purchase perishable items from the local store. The food bank works solely on a emergency basis, usually by referrals but also through word of mouth. The Malcolms are grateful for the generous donations it receives from the Matawatchan Market, the churches of St. Andrew's, St. Paul's, St. Luke's and the New Apostolic, the Denbigh Recreation Committee, the Denbigh Griffith Lions Club, T.O.P.S., 41 Stop, the John Landry Christmas Show at the Pine Valley Restaurant, the Matacushie Community Development Program, the Santa Claus Parade committee and many individuals and families from the community.
Councilor Tony Fritch made a few remarks following the ribbon cutting and thanked the Malcolms, all of the donors, the Denbigh Griffith Lions Club and the local municipality. “Personally I wish the day would come when we didn't need a food bank but recent statistics show that the need in Canada is on the rise. I recently did a bit of research and discovered that food bank use has increased by about 30% across Canada in the last few years. In Canada alone 851,000 people use registered food banks on a regular weekly basis." Fritsch said.
That being the case, the community food bank in Denbigh is always in need of donations. It will be open on Tuesdays from noon until 3 p.m. and both food and cash donations can be made at that time.