A 2,800 square foot warehouse is now in full use at Southeast Helping Hands, the food bank in Steinbach. Board chair Hank Klassen says it's a great addition because it enables them to accept larger shipments of food by semi-trailer. He adds Helping Hands will become a food depot for the three food banks in southeastern Manitoba.
"The meat and the bread and the vegetables that we get all come through here and gets distributed to Grunthal and Ste. Anne. Between the three food banks that we have, we're covering about 700 square miles. We all give out the food on Wednesdays so there is no double dipping and we have our territories that we're very strict with, the people have to go to their food banks."
Klassen says Southeast Helping Hands is providing grocery hampers to 320 families in Steinbach every two weeks which amounts to over 1,400 people. He notes the need has been increasing and donations have been decreasing and, unless the giving grows, they will be in a critical situation by the fall.
Meanwhile, Klassen says a big thank-you to a local car dealer for helping them out of a difficult situation.
"We had the misfortune to have the van back into a semi-trailer and the semi-trailer won, so Autopac says it's not worth fixing, it will be a write-off. So I went around to a couple of dealers and said. 'This is our predicament, can you supply a vehicle for us.?' And, Steinbach Dodge came up first. They donated a 2012 Caravan to us."
The van is used to pick up donations and to distribute food to the other food banks.