FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Community Food Redistribution Warehouse opens in Kingston
Community partners come together for new facility to receive, process, store and redistribute large scale food donations
Kingston, ON (March 23, 2022) – In the KFL&A region, and across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has accentuated the importance of food access and security. Access to good food has become an essential part of response, recovery, and ongoing stabilization. With this increased need and the influx of large food donations came the idea for a centralized, conveniently located food distribution centre. Today, partners are delighted to launch the new Community Food Redistribution Warehouse (CFRW) that has been collaboratively developed.
Together, Lionhearts, Kingston Community Health Centres (KCHC), the City of Kingston, the United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington and other agency partners have spent the past year working collaboratively to make the CFRW concept a reality. The City of Kingston and United Way KFL&A have provided long-term multi-year funding. With contributions from Rotary in Kingston and many community partners and stakeholders providing support, this will be a space that can be used by local agencies to centralize and coordinate food reclamation, collection and distribution.
With input from community agencies, the 11,500 ft2 CFRW warehouse is equipped with the infrastructure to safely receive, process, store, and redistribute large scale food donations. This warehouse will help build capacity for agencies, helping them access larger donations and local produce, enhancing nutritional value of meals served, allowing them to better maximize their budgets and serve clients.
“The launch of the Community Food Redistributions Warehouse (CFRW) is eagerly awaited,” said Ronda Candy, Executive Director at Martha’s Table. “At Martha’s we are anticipating an increase in the amount of food items donated; this will reduce our grocery expenses. The timing couldn’t be better as the cost of groceries is rising significantly and rapidly. The budget relief that additional donations will offer will help ensure that we meet the ever-growing nutritional needs of our community. We are working seven days per week to reduce food insecurity and the support offered by CFRW will be helpful and much appreciated.”
While the space will not be accepting donations from the community like the food bank, the CFRW will be a collaborative and cooperative space working to enhance distribution and collection and help agencies in their efforts to address food insecurity in the region.
Through the pandemic, agencies have worked together to accept donations of large amounts of surplus perishable and non-perishable food and supplies, including fresh food grown by the community. These have been shared among agencies supporting people in need of food and supplies. The CFRW allows for this collaboration to continue and increase capacity and support for frontline agencies to enhance the important work they are doing through provision of food.
The CFRW is open for operations now, with Lionhearts funded to provide coordination and logistics. A coordinator has been hired by Lionhearts to coordinate pick-ups, use of the space, storage and clean up. A community advisory committee will continue to handle ongoing decisions and provide oversight.
For more information about the CFRW please read the fact sheet below and visit https://www.unitedwaykfla.ca/communityfoodredistributionwarehouse/ for information and updates.
Started in March 2022, the Community Food Redistribution Warehouse (CFRW) is an initiative developed by Lionhearts, Kingston Community Health Centres (KCHC), the City of Kingston and the United Way of Kingston, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington, with contributions from Rotary in Kingston and many other community partners and stakeholders.
This warehouse will facilitate the efficient collection and distribution of large donations of food to frontline agencies in KFL&A who provide meals or food to their program users. With a warehouse of 11,500 sq’, equipped with large freezers, coolers, loading dock, forklift and washing stations the CFRW will have the infrastructure to safely receive and process large scale food donations. It will serve as a mechanism for local organizations to efficiently access food for their clients in a cost-effective manner.
Mandy Pasch, Director, Marketing and Communications
United Way KFL&A