Ren­o­va­tions on the menu for Loaves and Fishes

Com­mu­nity kitchen wants to re­duce energy costs

Cape Breton Post - - CAPE BRETON - BY NANCY KING SYD­NEY nk­ing@cb­post.com

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.

NANCY KING/CAPE BRE­TON POST

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.

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