Temporarily relocated at River’s Edge Church after being forced out of its previous location on Apr. 1, the NDG Food Depot is moving forward with its services while keeping an eye on the future.
Volunteers came in bunches to move crates and boxes full of food out of the depot’s old location on Oxford Street and de Maisonneuve Blvd. in early April. After taking two weeks to settle in to the new location, the depot restarted serving the community on Apr. 16.
The relocation is temporary, and the depot’s staff has been splitting its time between helping out nearly 700 people a week and trying to find a more permanent location.
“I have to say it’s been going quite well. We’re so grateful for the people at River’s Edge,” said Lynda Porter, president of the depot’s board of directors when asked about the last couple of weeks.
“But the space is a little limited, and I understand that the staff is cramped in terms of office space,” she added.
There’s also the issue of refrigeration space, as the new location just doesn’t have the same amount of room for storing perishable goods such as fresh milk and eggs that the depot had become accustomed to handing out.
“Ideally we’d be able to find a place we could rent for longer than just one year,” said Porter, adding that they’re also entertaining the idea of buying a place of their own.
In the meantime, the community has adapted well to the move. River’s Edge Church is a mere three blocks away from the old location.
“It isn’t possible to know the exact numbers right now, but people are coming, and I think the word has spread well,” said Porter.
People around the community have been stepping up in different ways to help out the non-profit, as did the Burton Street Singers on Saturday night. They held a fundraising concert for the food depot at the Kensington Presbyterian Church.
A night of music and entertainment raised nearly $1000. Roughly 100 peoplepacked into the church’s auditorium.
The group of local singers has been putting together one fundraising cabaret night a year for the last four years, and the decision to give to the food depot this year was a no-brainer.
“At least half of us are from NDG, and when we heard they had to move and that they were having some troubles, it just seemed like the right thing to do,” the octet’s Isabel Belina told Les Actualités.
When asked about the donation, Porter said that the response from the community since the move has been overwhelming.
In the meanwhile, as the depot continues its search for a permanent location, regular service hours will remain on Tuesdays from 2-7 p.m. and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Photo: Jesse Feith