Oakville, Burlington food banks join forces to open distribution centre


Published February 14, 2023 at 3:11 pm

The Burlington Food Bank and Oakville's Kerr Street Mission have successfully secured a 13,000 square foot space to act as a distribution centre to serve Halton Region's food insecurity network. TOWN OF OAKVILLE PHOTO

The Burlington Food Bank and Oakville’s Kerr Street Mission are teaming up to strengthen their fight against food insecurity.

The two local charities have secured a 13,000 square foot space, located at 5280 Mainway, Unit 5 in Burlington, to act as a distribution centre.

The new Mainway distribution facility will serve the current Burlington Food Bank’s Plain Rd. E. location and Kerr Street Mission in Oakville as well as expand its ability to help the wider network of food security solutions found across Burlington, Oakville and the Region of Halton.

“In Halton, I think we’re united in the desire that our communities together will not only survive, but thrive,” said Oakville Mayor Rob Burton. “I want to start by thanking Gary O’Neill. Gary has been leading the Kerr Street Mission, a vital institution in Oakville, for 10 years now. Two of my best friends, John McKay and Bill Ardell were attracted to come alongside Gary and help with the vision they’ve been nurturing.

“Together with Halton, Burlington and Oakville – we’ll make great things happen.”

For Burlington Food Bank’s Robin Bailey, the decision to expand comes from the lessons they learned during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The local charity has seen a continued rise year over year in the number of requests from the community for food assistance. That similar growth in need has taken place right across Halton Region and showed the need for a more concerted food distribution hub.

Bailey said the new centre will allow them to ‘provide nutritious food to the hungry of our community in a dignified and timely manner.’

It also provides the food bank with the opportunity to extend its network while equipping and strengthening its current partnerships across the region.

“We’re in a position that we can reach out through other agencies to all of Burlington. That we can truly be ‘The Burlington Food Bank’ by serving agencies as they serve their neighbours,” said Bailey, Executive Director at the Burlington Food Bank.

“We used to be Partnership West and now we’re Burlington Food Bank. It’s because we’re trying to serve the whole of Burlington. We know that we have great partners throughout the city and beyond, and we want to support them as they support their local communities even better.”

Possession of the new centre will take place this October with distribution expected to begin in late 2023.

“I was pleased to join City and Regional colleagues to congratulate the Burlington Food Bank on its announcement of a new Food Distribution Centre that will ensure more people get the food they need,” said Burlington Mayor Marianne Meed Ward.

“This shows the power of partnership with Halton Region Feed Ontario, Kerr Street Mission in Oakville and the City of Burlington.”

The charities are also looking for local community partners interested in helping to equip and stock the new facility.

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