Sources Langley Food Bank – an accredited member of Food Banks BC – could be seeing its final days operating in Langley if the organization doesn’t find a new home by early spring.
Sources has been operating out of the United Church property at 5673 200 St. for four years, and the property was sold last month, meaning Sources must be out of the building by April. 30.
Moving to a new location isn’t news to Sources, as the organization has known for the last 18 months that the church was looking to sell the property.
“We knew it had been listed, and we heard within the last month or so it had been sold. We had been looking for other properties for the last couple years, and unfortunately it’s reached a crisis point,” explained Sources CEO David Young.
The search has gone without luck, as Young explained there’s not a lot of vacancies in Langley, and some property owners are not interested in renting to a food bank.
“There isn’t a great deal of vacancy in the City of Langley and even in the Township of Langley. Not everyone’s keen to rent to a food bank. We’re good tenants, we pay rent. We’re a good neighbour, and we try to work collaboratively with our neighbours to ensure a good community,” Young elaborated.
In Langley, Sources serves approximately 650 people each week, and Young said the number has jumped to 1,100 in the last quarter.
“Of that, more than 400 are children. This is a significant and important resource to people who live in the community. [Without Sources] there will be children in Langley who go hungry,” added Young.
If the food bank is unable to find a suitable home in time, Young said options could include negotiating with the new United Church property owners on an extension, opening a pop-up or mobile food bank, or closing down.
If the latter were to happen, Young believes Langley would lose an important resource.
“It would put more pressure on the resources in the community. It will certainly mean more people in Langley will go hungry. Our work is to help provide individuals and families with two additional days of food per week and that supplements the income sources for all sorts of people.”
In the four years spent operating in Langley, Young said he’s been “pleased with the support” received.
“We know we’re valued and we know people in Langley value what we provide for their neighbours, so we want to continue, and what we need is a helping hand in finding a location.”
Ideally Sources would like to find a space that is 4,000 to 6,000 sq. ft. with warehousing for food storage, a storefront for food distribution, and parking for two delivery trucks, social workers, and clients.
Sources has a budget between $3,500 to $6,000 per month, and would like the property to have a three-year term.
Anyone with rental space or suggestions is asked to contact Sources executive director Denise Darrell at firstname.lastname@example.org.