Minto residents help one another after fire destroys grocery store

Residents in a small New Brunswick village are coming together after a massive fire destroyed their only grocery store.

The blaze broke out at the Foodland in Minto around 7 a.m. Monday, leaving as many as 40 people out of work.

Several fire departments from as far away as Fredericton, about 45 kilometres away, were called in to help fight the flames.

Residents must now travel at least 20 minutes to Chipman, or at least 40 minutes to Fredericton, in order to get their groceries.

But volunteers are stepping in to help those without a vehicle get to nearby grocery stores.

The village is encouraging anyone who needs a drive to Chipman for groceries to contact the village office at (506) 327-3383 to arrange a time.

Residents also have until Thursday to register for the community Food Smart program at the Queens North Health Complex, which provides a bag of produce once a month to each adult in the household.

The cost is $10 for an annual membership and $15 a month for each person.

The W.G. Bishop Nursing Home in Minto is also providing free bus transportation for seniors to grocery stores in Chipman.

Nursing director Kim Thornton says in a Facebook post that the service will be offered at 2 p.m. on June 8 and 15, and at 11 a.m. on June 12 and 19.

Residents are asked to call (506) 327-7853 as seats are limited.