New food bank on North Shore

Lower Is­land Cove Sal­va­tion Army work­ing hard to stay rel­e­vant

The Compass - - FRONT PAGE - BY TERRYROBERTS

The Sal­va­tion Army corps in Lower Is­land Cove has ac­ti­vated a new food bank for needy fam­i­lies on the north shore of Con­cep­tion Bay.

It’s part of an ef­fort by the corps to stay con­nected with the re­gion it serves, and help those who are hav­ing trou­ble mak­ing ends meet.

It’s called the “His Hand Ex­tended Food Bank,” and it’s lo­cated at the ci­tadel in Lower Is­land Cove.

It’s the first time in the 65-year his­tory of the Lower Is­land Cove corps that it has op­er­ated a food bank, said Capt. Wel­don Hay­ward, who, along with wife Ma­jor Donna Hay­ward, are the corps of­fi­cers.

“If we only help out a hand­ful of peo­ple … we’re build­ing a re­la­tion­ship with them and we’re im­pact­ing the com­mu­nity. This is about be­ing more rel­e­vant in the com­mu­nity,” said Capt. Hay­ward.

The food bank opened for two days this month — Nov. 10 and 24 — and will again open on Dec. 2 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The corps will also dis­trib­ute Christ­mas ham­pers around Dec. 20, hav­ing as­sisted 30-plus fam­i­lies last year.

Start­ing in Jan­uary, the food bank will open on the first and third Mon­day of each month.

The corps is work­ing in co-op­er­a­tion with the United Church in Western Bay, which also op­er­ates a food bank. In the past, the United Church served the en­tire shore, but the Sal­va­tion Army will now take a large chunk of that area, from North­ern Bay to Old Per­li­can-bay de Verde.

Shelves fully stocked

Those on so­cial as­sis­tance, a low fixed in­come or low em­ploy­ment in­sur­ance ben­e­fits, along with those who present “spe­cial cir­cum­stances,” can ac­cess the food bank. Users can ac­cess the ser­vice once-a-month. Capt. Hay­ward the num­ber of calls for as­sis­tance this past year in­creased, con­vinc­ing him there is a need for a food bank.

The shelves are fully stocked with a ship­ment of food from the Com­mu­nity Food Shar­ing As­so­ci­a­tion, along with do­na­tions from through­out the area.

“The Army al­ways tries to meet the needs of peo­ple holis­ti­cally, whether it’s spir­i­tu­ally, phys­i­cally and men­tally,” Capt. Hay­ward ex­plained. “The food bank is an ex­ten­sion of that.”

The idea grew from the for­ma­tion of a new gov­er­nance struc­ture at the church, which has nearly dou­bled the num­ber of con­gre­gra­tion mem­bers who are in­volved in min­istry work.

The corps has about 140 fam­i­lies in the area from Kingston to Old Per­li­can, and has em­barked on an ini­tia­tive called “20-20 Vi­sion” to en­sure it re­mains rel­e­vant to the re­gion long into the fu­ture, in light of the fact its con­gre­ga­tion is ag­ing.

“If it keeps go­ing on this track, we might be closed or down­sized,” said Capt. Hay­ward.

The corps also has a new mis­sion state­ment — “For­ward in Faith, Mo­bile in Mis­sion and Sur­ren­dered in Ser­vice.”

Capt. Hay­ward said the food bank is an ex­ten­sion of this new mis­sion state­ment.

Sal­va­tion Army Capt. Wel­don Hay­ward (left) and Mil­dred Wheaden of Western Bay, the di­rec­tor of pas­toral care at the Sal­va­tion Army ci­tadel in Lower Is­land Cove, do an in­ven­tory of sup­plies at the new His Hand Ex­tended Food Bank.

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