Despite fire, South Porcupine Food Bank finds a way to continue serving clients

When misfortune strikes in a community, caring people often band together to find a solution.

A fire on Friday in an apartment unit next to the South Porcupine Food Bank has seen that care in action.

Several fundraising events have taken place since then, allowing the food bank to continue helping people in need, even if it means operating from the back of a delivery van.

“So we’ve taken the food that was donated and we’ve bagged it up as best we can and people can come on their regular day and pick up their order like they usually do," said Violet Jewitt, a volunteer with the food bank.

The organization lost all of its inventory as a result of smoke damage from the neighbouring fire. Even food in the freezers was deemed contaminated.

“All the food that we had -- which (we) estimated up to $20,000 -- has to be disposed of and even the appliances because of the heavy smoke damage can’t be reused again," said Peter Davis, food bank treasurer. "So we’ll be looking at seven new freezers, another fridge and things like that, but that’s just the way it is."

He said the food bank is now looking for a place to rent to store food and serve clients until a decision is made about its current location.

“It’s really early days to understand if we might be able to be here again," Davis said. "It’s all in the insurance company’s hands really at this point in time and I think they’re still trying to figure out the cause of the fire so I think it’s going to take some time to figure that out."

He added he's extremely grateful for the community's support, raising thousands of dollars and pounds of food in just a few days.