As we become more settled into our new space at 1255 McPhee Avenue, we wanted to reflect on our appreciation for all of the GOOD THINGS that have been created and come our way this summer. There will always be challenges, uncertainty, and insecurity in this work (and life in general), but practicing gratitude bolsters our growth mindset, resilience, and organizational steadiness as we move into autumn. Gratitude as a practice “reflects our deep appreciation for what we value, what brings meaning to our lives, and what makes us feel connected to ourselves and others” (Brown, 2021, p. 212). So we want to share some important organizational developments, say thank you, and reiterate how deeply important this work is to us.

First and foremost, this new facility has had a remarkable impact on the quality of experience for all those who work at, volunteer with, or use the Comox Valley Food Bank. The almost purpose-built building has allowed us to create distinct spaces dedicated to storage, organization, administration, and service. The look and feel of the building–more open and light-filled spaces, a clean and accessible exterior, offices, and multiple entrances–contribute to our ability to collect and distribute food and supplies in service of compassion, efficiency, and human dignity. Increased warehouse, storage, and even cooler space means that less food is wasted, and we are better prepared for the upcoming months. We have had lots of positive feedback about the space and the modified shopping model that we are now able to offer clients. Having an entrance at the back of the building, away from the traffic of McPhee Avenue, means that there is space to park and check in with volunteers who are ready to guide clients through the collection process. The modified shopping model allows clients to experience greater agency, flexibility, and choice, which reduce food waste and enhance the relationship with the products. When we can participate more actively in choosing the food that we take home, we are more likely to create healthy, balanced, and enjoyable meals. With the layout of the building itself, our fabulous volunteers can focus on specific tasks in different rooms, which has contributed to productivity and efficiency (being able to choose which music they want to listen to probably helps as well!). There is always room for improvement, and we are enjoying the process of getting comfortable in this new space with the opportunities for growth that it presents. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to the CVFB so far and a special thank you for your patience as we continue to settle in. Take a look at our Instagram account for photos and regular updates.

Secondly, we could not provide food essentials to hundreds of people a day in this new location without support and/or regular donations from the community, including the following organizations. You have contributed to our mission to reduce hunger, food insecurity, and food waste in the Comox Valley, and we are truly grateful to you.

  • JS Electric
  • Comox Valley Refrigeration
  • Jeff Meija Construction
  • Art Lavalee
  • Tower Fencing
  • Lark Plumbing and Heating
  • Peter at Second Coat Painting
  • David Little at Pacific Wind Power Washing
  • Rock Solid Countertops
  • Westcoast Spray Foam Insulation
  • DKI Services
  • Emterra
  • Courtenay Locksmith
  • Shaw Cable
  • Costco
  • Thrifty Foods
  • Real Canadian Superstore
  • Cobbs Bakery
  • John’s Independent Grocer
  • Church Street Bakery
  • Cumberland Bakery
  • Quality Foods
  • London Drugs
  • Tree Island Yogurt
  • Stericycle
  • HUB
  • Edible Island
  • SPCA
  • Walmart
  • Woofy’s on Cliff Avenue
  • Lowmar Contracting
  • Siefferts Farm
  • Arden Farm
  • Starbucks

Additionally, we are grateful for the relationships with other local agencies that further enhance the support systems available in the Comox Valley and beyond.

  • Transition Society
  • Alano Club
  • Comox Street Outreach
  • Eureka Support Society
  • Northgate Church
  • St. George’s Church
  • Healthy Families
  • Mars Bird Rescue
  • Courtenay Elementary School
  • Men’s Recovery Centre
  • Amethyst House
  • Stepping Stones
  • VIHA
  • Travel Lodge

Finally, while there will inevitably be challenges in the months ahead, we are looking forward to continuing to expand, create opportunities, build new relationships, and celebrate the big and small moments of goodness.

Please stay tuned for the following events and updates:

  • There will be an official community Open House in the new facility!
  • We are building a roof over the back entrance in preparation for the rainier days ahead.
  • We will finalize the refurbishment of a full working kitchen at 1255 McPhee Ave, which will open up some more event, program, and collaboration opportunities.
  • Stuff the Truck promotion with Jet FM is happening again this year (December 2022)!

Overall, it was a rewarding and encouraging summer season. It is evident that there is a lot of goodness to celebrate and appreciate. But this work does not stop. If you have food basics, produce, or essential supplies to donate, we are here and happy to be the conduit between you and the people looking for greater food security. Or, if you are a registered society looking to create a partnership that enhances support available for people in need, do not hesitate to reach out to us.