Whitehorse Food Bank strikes life sustaining deal

A possible long-term solution has emerged to end the on going food crisis at the Whitehorse Food Bank.

A possible long-term solution has emerged to end the on going food crisis at the Whitehorse Food Bank.

Stephen Dunbar-Edge, the food bank’s executive director, announced on Monday a new partnership with Northern Vision Development and Sysco Canada.

Sysco is a major food supplier to restaurants, hotels and other food service and hospitality businesses, including the High Country Inn and the Gold Rush Hotel.

At the food bank, more than 80 per cent of the food is purchased, not donated, and often in great amounts. More than 19,000 cans of vegetables pass through the shelves each year, for example, and discounted prices are not always available.

After a recent cash donation to the food bank, Northern Vision Development also pitched the idea of the food bank partnering up with Sysco to share in the company’s purchasing power.

“This will help us plan more for the future and save on purchasing costs” said Dunbar-Edge.

In June and July, the food bank was in crisis, the shelves were empty, and the hampers – which go out in three-day emergency supply allotments – were missing critical items.

The community response was phenomenal, said Dunbar-Edge, and the shelves are currently stocked, but relying on donations is a Band-Aid solution. A partnership with a big supplier like Sysco could help keep things stable.

Currently the food bank has enough stock to last about six weeks, but if donations begin to wane into September, it could easily fall back into crisis mode in October, he said. Now, with the help of Sysco, Dunbar-Edge hopes that won’t be the case.

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