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Essex Area Food Bank relocating to Essex United Church

by Sylene Argent

As the contract the Essex Area Food Bank has with the Greater Essex County District School Board to operate out of the former Sun Parlour Junior School will expire at the end of the year, the local food bank was in search of a new facility.

  The last day the Essex Area Food Bank will serve clients at the former Sun Parlour Junior Public School location will be Tuesday, December 3.

  Essex Area Food Bank volunteers Gerry Belanger and Lonnie Jones said the local food-distribution service is now planning to reopening the Essex Area Food Bank on Tuesday, January 7, in the Essex United Church basement.

  This could be a short-term solution as it has been noted in the past the church has been put up for sale, but the Essex Area Food Bank is happy for the partnership as it stands.

  Previously, the Essex Area Food Bank has made arrangements to move into the former Schinkels’ Meat Market location, but they were notified the Town’s zoning bylaw would not allow that type of operation.

  Instead of requesting the Zoning Bylaw be changed, Essex Area Food Bank volunteers said they instead made other arrangements.

  Jones said he approached representatives of Essex United Church about renting space there. Already, he said, some of the Church’s boards have approved renting part of the Church’s basement so the food bank can operate out of its worship facility. One more Board approval is still needed.

  During the move, volunteers will be at the former site to distribute Christmas Baskets to clients and make arrangements for donations. Anyone wanting to make a holiday donation to the Essex Area Food Bank can make an arrangement by calling 519-800-2340.

  During the shut-down time, volunteers with the Essex Area Food Bank will help clients locate different food banks that they can visit in the mean time.

  The Essex Area Food Bank has been able to serve its clients through the GECDSB for over 25-years. It spent many years inside Essex District High School, and spent the past five years in the former Sun Parlour Junior Public School location.

  “They have been excellent to us,” Jones said of the GECDSB.

Jones and Belanger thanked Greg and Andrea Schinkel for their efforts in trying and find the Essex Area Food Bank a home in their former building.

  A few area service clubs have offered to help the Essex Area Food Bank with the move.

© 2020 The Essex Free Press ltd.

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