Photo by Sean McIntosh/Advocate staff Red Deer Food Bank executive director Fred Scaife gave a quick tour of the new centralized location’s storage room in The Mustard Seed building.

Second food bank opens in Red Deer

Mustard Seed and Red Deer’s Food Bank join forces

The Red Deer Food Bank has opened a new centralized location to reach more residents.

Teaming up with The Mustard Seed, the food bank officially opened up a satellite location in Riverside Meadows at 6002 54th Ave., Thursday morning.

The city’s second food bank offers a more centralized spot for pickup, said Fred Scaife, Red Deer Food Bank executive director.

“I couldn’t be more excited. This is something I’ve wanted to do for 10 years,” he said.

“This is a good thing to have,” Scaife said. “The main focus is about accessibility. This location is more accessible for people in other parts of the city.”

The Mustard Seed will provide the space, while staff at the Food Bank will work out of the new location. The Riverside Meadows food bank will be open for hamper pickup on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Byron Bradley, the Mustard Seed’s managing director of the Central Alberta location, said three clients had already picked up hampers on its first day of business.

“To raise the accessibility for food and create better food security feels incredible,” he said. “People who are affected by poverty and homelessness, especially those with mobility issues, getting to North Hill (the Food Bank’s primary location) can be tough.”

Though opening a new location is something Scaife has wanted to do for a long time, it became real a possibility with The Mustard Seed opening last year, he said.

During the Christmas period, the Red Deer Food Bank deals with an increase in clients, so officials asked The Mustard Seed to help hand out its Christmas hampers. After that successful venture, the two groups looked at working together again.

An anonymous family made a large donation to The Mustard Seed last fall, making this new food bank location possible, Bradley added.

The Red Deer Food Bank gives out anywhere between 30 and 60 hampers filled with food each day, Scaife said. In the long-term, Schaife said he can see the new location giving 10 to 15 hampers a day, which will definitely help on busy days.

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