GUYSBOROUGH – Residents of MODG won’t see a change in tax rates or service fees in the 2020-2021 fiscal year. The municipality released a balanced budget on Monday to the tune of $17 million. One big ticket item included in the budget is $100,000 allocated for the construction of a new food bank operations centre in Guysborough.
The municipality will hold a public event to be announced at a later date, inviting contractors and residents to spend two days helping to build the new home for the food bank.
Warden Vernon Pitts said the plan for a new food bank was put together after MODG was approached by the organization regarding storage space. Speaking to media after council's regular monthly meeting Monday afternoon, Pitts emphasized the urgent need of space, saying, “The new building was needed direly. They were storing food items throughout the community; they shouldn’t have to do that.”
Food bank Secretary Elizabeth Connolly says the organization is extremely grateful that MODG is providing this funding and working alongside food bank volunteers in the design of the new facility.
“This is going to be such a wonderful thing and well needed,” said Connolly, speaking with The Journal Tuesday. She noted that having a larger space including an office means clients will have privacy and feel more comfortable using the facility.
“Some clients have a hard time coming to the food bank; we’re hoping with this new space that it’s going to make a big difference for them,” she said. Currently, only one client can be served at a time, while others wait outside.
The funds from MODG include $10,000 in emergency funding for the food bank in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing that there will be a significant increase in demand for food supplies as families are required to self-isolate, the funds will be dispensed immediately to help the food bank secure additional stock.
MODG is also offering staff assistance to deliver food to residents when required, as the food bank remains closed to the public. If food bank clients, families or individuals are in need of food, they are asked to call Myles Connolly at 902-533-2248 as soon as possible. A table will be set up outside the existing food bank location for individuals wanting to pick up their supply hamper in person, and a staff member will be present to keep track of scheduled pick-ups.