Renovations on the menu for Loaves and Fishes
Community kitchen wants to reduce energy costs
Sydney’s community kitchen is planning renovations to make its building more energy efficient so it can better serve the needs of its clients.
John Bond, chair of the board of directors of Loaves and Fishes, said a strategic longrange plan completed in 2013 identified ensuring that the location will continue to be sustainable.
“If you look at the demographics of Sydney, you can clearly see that with the aging population, reduction in employment and out-migration of workers, and looking at the number of meals that we serve, which has increased in the last couple of years, we’re unfortunately probably going to be here for a long time,” Bond said.
Ensuring the longevity of the Charlotte Street location is a big part of that, he said. Part of the building dates back about 80 years, while the remainder is about 40 years old.
“What we want to do is physically improve our building, and the other thing we want to do is to reduce our energy costs,” Bond said.
“Then the money that we save on this other end, then we can turn that money into help providing more nutritional food for patrons, better meals for them, hopefully.”
The Sunrise Rotary Club has been an important supporter of the community kitchen, he said, adding that they regularly sponsor meals and they have also provided some funds for the renovations. Loaves and Fishes also intends to apply to the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and other sources for some assistance.
Work to insulate the building has already taken place.
“That needed to be done, that made a great difference,” Bond said.
The next step will be to install heat pumps. They are researching what options will best serve the approximately 8,000-square-foot building by having someone carry out an energy efficiency study, which should be completed shortly.
“Because we’re going to go around the block one time to do this, we want to make sure that the heat pump system that we put in is the best system, given the amount of money that we have to put into it,” Bond said.
Decisions will be made based on the amount of funding available, he added. With the funding from the Sunrise Rotary Club and the Homelessness Initiative, they currently have about $58,000 to play with for a heat pump system.
They are also looking at better efficiency in areas such as the lighting system to decrease power costs. Bond noted the kitchen’s two large walk-in freezers are about 15 years old.
“What we’re trying to do is sort of break these things down into bite-sized pieces, if I can use that term,” Bond said.
The goal is to have the work completed by Oct. 31, or earlier if possible.
John Bond, chair of the board of Loaves and Fishes, says renovations planned for the Sydney community kitchen will focus on making the building more energy efficient.