The Fort Saskatchewan Food Gatherer’s Society, operators of the Fort Saskatchewan Food Bank recently announced that they will be sharing space within their location with the Fort Saskatchewan Furniture Bank Society, effective May 1, 2023.
The Food Bank first moved into its new location at 11226 88 Ave, named the Fort Saskatchewan Nourishment Centre, on June 1, 2021, with plans to grow the site into a community hub. Their strategic plan involves growing from a traditional food bank that offers solely emergency-based food hampers, into a community food resource centre that provides programs that address food insecurity in our community and and improves the lives of those in need.
Kassandra Gartner, Food Bank Executive Director says that sharing warehouse space with the Furniture Bank is a notable piece of that plan.
“Our team is grateful to be able to offer space and to share our building with an organization such as the Furniture Bank. Their mission aligns with ours and I believe they serve their clients with the same compassion and care that we strive for when we are providing food. Folks who are struggling and need some help deserve to be treated with dignity, seen, and heard. The Furniture Bank has a need for additional space, while we have ample warehouse space and the desire to create something different and special here onsite. Our volunteer team also remembers and knows all too well how difficult it is to operate out of a tiny space!”
The Fort Saskatchewan Furniture Bank Society, established in April 2017 is a volunteer driven nonprofit organization focused on restoring hope, dignity, and stability to their clients by coordinating the generosity of donors to help furnish homes for people in need, giving them a fresh start in life.
The Furniture Bank, serving approximately 200 clients per year, currently occupies a small space located at 9904 103 Street and a larger space has been needed for many months. Their program “recycles” gently used furniture, saving donors the hassle of selling the item or the trip to the landfill. It involves the pickup of goods from donors, storage at their facility and coordination of delivery to clients’ homes.
“Our team at the Furniture Bank could not be more pleased to announce this space sharing agreement with the Food Bank,” said Darren Redlick, President of the Fort Saskatchewan Furniture Bank. “Both our organizations are committed to best serving the needs of our clients in Fort Saskatchewan, and we have two organizations that share a common vision to offer a hand up to those in need. By locating the Furniture Bank within the Nourishment Centre along with the Food Bank, this will increase the visibility of our organization, which will allow us to grow and store more of the furniture donations from the generous community within Fort Saskatchewan, and ultimately better serve the needs of our clients.”
The Food Bank and the Furniture Bank remain separate entities, operating independently and while the Furniture Bank will be located in Bay 7 of the Fort Saskatchewan Nourishment Centre, their operations remain consistent – they are a virtual furniture bank and so do not have a storefront open to the public in general. Donor drop-offs can be arranged but only after contacting the Furniture Bank ahead of time to discuss the item. Their website http://www.fortsaskfurniturebank.com/ explains the best way for contact is by private message on the Fort Saskatchewan Furniture Bank Facebook Messenger.
Board members from both organizations were present for the announcement and a commemorative photo was taken on Thursday, April 13 at 6:30pm, at the Food Bank.