Our December meeting took place at the home of David and Paula Nearing in Reserve Mines. We were treated to a presentation from the Glace Bay Food Bank. Executive Director Sandra MacPherson, and Board Member Dave MacKeigan gave an informal talk about the history of the organization and how it has grown.
Born from a town that has been plagued with employment challenges from the closure of the coal mines and a reduction in the fishery, this group has been helping the people of Glace Bay and surrounding area for 30 years. Their demand has also increased and they are serving more and more people. Both Sandra and Dave had stressed that they do not do this alone as they rely heavily on donations and volunteers to make this happen.
From their presentation, one could see that they do far more than just distribute food; they have empowered many with hope for the future as they would become strong advocates for those,in need. A visit to the Glace Bay Food Bank at any time would show volunteers assisting people with applications for social programs or completion of income tax returns. In any event, those in need would leave with their dignity intact and hope for the future. Dave and Sandra also spoke of whole families, grandparents, parents, and children who might come as a group to provide, prepare, and serve meals on a regular basis. Our associates could not help but marvel in the work that God is doing through these volunteers.
Perhaps their greatest joy is when people they have helped in the past revisit the centre once their situation improves. They usually give an update on their present status and are pleased to be able to give back with donations of time, money, or food. Our meeting closed with a delicious lunch prepared by our host Paula. We were certainly left with a new appreciation for food banks and the hospitality they exhibit.