Salvation Army Client Choice Food Bank Opens in Fredericton

Volunteer Helps Client at Food Bank
by Maritime
Categories: 2021, News Archive

The Salvation Army in Fredericton is working to restore dignity to their clients by remodeling their food bank to offer a grocery shopping experience. Families in need are able to shop for the items they want rather than receive a box prepared by volunteers.

“It restores dignity to the families. Clients are empowered by the choices they are able to make,” explains Susan Strickland, community family services coordinator.

The team began operating the new food bank model three days a week in May 2021. Following health and safety guidelines, one member from each family comes at a scheduled time where they shop for items just as they would in a grocery store. 

During the first two days alone, they served 69 families representing 197 people. 

“The items are all separated into different categories on the shelves,” she explains. “Everything is clearly marked indicating how many items from each category they can take based on the size of their family and the supply we have.”

Along with the non-perishable food items on the shelves, The Salvation Army food bank in Fredericton provides milk, eggs and meat as well as fruits and vegetables grown on-site in their community garden.

“We always have a wide-selection of items, but the fresh vegetables picked from our garden are always a hit for families that may not have access to these.”

In addition to restoring hope and dignity to the people they serve, the new food bank model also significantly reduces food waste. Each month, they provide up to 18,000 lbs of food for families in need.

“This structure makes sure that we don’t send items home with clients which they don’t like and end up throwing in the garbage,” she explains. “Those items will now be chosen by families who can use them.”

Most importantly, clients are very enthusiastic about the new model and experience. 

“The feeling of choice is empowering. Something as small as restoring the grocery shopping experience can motivate people in other parts of their lives as well.” 

You can help The Salvation Army continue operating these programs and services by donating online or by calling 902-455-1201.