On May 30th we welcomed community leaders, stakeholders, and friends to 2001 Bantree Street, and marked the Official Opening of our new home.
The event was an opportunity to mingle with friends and colleague while enjoying light refreshments courtesy of Chef Ric at The Ottawa Mission.
The tone of the evening was mainly one of thanks. Thank you to the amazing donors and supporters who helped make this move possible. Thank you to our volunteers who kept with us through the process and have joined us in our new home. Thank you to the Ottawa Food Bank staff who rolled up their sleeves and put in the work to make the move happen. And most importantly, thank you to the member agency network who remained patient with us during the move. This process is for the network more than anyone else.
The tone, however, also had to reflect our current reality. Our CEO, Rachael Wilson, spoke to the crowd and recognized that while it’s exciting to be in a location that will help us better serve the network of food programs across the city, it is not necessarily a celebration. Moving was one out of necessity to adequately respond to record-breaking demand.
Councillor Marty Carr, Alta Vista Ward, shared that sentiment in a written statement she provided in lieu of being able to attend the event.
Thank you to Deputy Mayor Laura Dudas who shared a few words and presented the Ottawa Food Bank with a certificate of congratulations on behalf of the Members of Ottawa City Council.
Thank you also to the Hon. David McGuinty, MP, who spoke to attendees sharing his family’s personal story while recognizing that the growth of the food bank’s operation is “about not leaving people behind.”
We also had the opportunity to hear from representatives from Rideau-Rockcliffe Community Resource Centre, one of the 112 member agency food programs with whom the Ottawa Food Bank partners. Executive Director, Sebastian Gaissert, and his colleauges Patricia Lau and Abby Muir, shared their experience with the need they are seeing in their community. Sebastian also confirmed, “we are in a food crisis right now. More action is needed.”
It was an honour to celebrate the move to a healthier future with such a large number of our peers. Thank you for joining us.
We are hopeful for what the future brings as we all continue to work together.