Tatamagouche food bank a great benefit to the community

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Tatamagouche and area notebook, Ellen Millard

Our local food bank in Tatamagouche, aptly called Neighbours Helping Neighbours, is a member of Feed Nova Scotia.

Donalda Lepper, who along with Jennifer Hunt, co-manages the Neighbours Helping Neighbours Food Bank in Tatamagouche, unlocks the door to the facility located in the Gospel Hall. Photo by Ellen Millard

It works in the local area using the four skills on which Feed Nova Scotia bases it’s service – respect, care, sharing and hope.

The local co-ordinator is Donalda Lepper and its location is 136 Blair Ave., side entrance in the basement of the Gospel Hall.

Hours for the food bank are Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to noon and there is also a sign to mark the entrance. Winter hours will be starting in November and will change to 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Neighbours Helping Neighbours opened Nov. 13 in 2012, and since then, there have been between nine to 12 families needing help each week. There has been lots of community support coming from many sources. One in particular during the summer was a Garden Tea put on by the Roberts family on the lawn of their home in the village.

Lepper says fall season garden produce is always welcome.

Help had been received in the form of a grant from the United Way of Colchester and was greatly appreciated. The money from the grant was used to purchase a new refrigerator, vacuum cleaner, broom, scrub bucket and other needed items.

Neighbours Helping Neighbours is now a registered charity and can give receipts for income tax purposes.

When people arrive to get goods, they are required to register by showing their Nova Scotia Health Card and proof of their residence, which could be a receipt for rent or a bill they have paid. There are currently 68 local households registered who can access the food bank when they need to.

Food that is purchased for the food bank is done using Canada’s Food Guide. 

The volunteer board of directors includes chairwoman Ann McMillan, vice-chairman Chuck Paterson, treasurer Malcolm Roberts, secretary Susan Weatherby, Bette McNutt, Mike Gregory, Sharon Byers and Francie Hunt.

Lepper and Jennifer Hunt, along with other volunteers, manage the food bank. Their duties include shopping for items needed, pick up and delivery of food, packaging, stocking shelves in the food bank and helping fill out forms.

“Everybody deserves enough healthy and adequate food so we try to make that our main purpose at Neighbours Helping Neighbours in Tatamagouche,” said Lepper.

The next big Food Drive for the food bank will be at Mike’s Foodland in Tatamagouche, so watch for more information in the store. Mike’s Foodland has always offered support to the needy in the local area over the years and this year staff member Steven Byers will head up the drive, beginning Oct. 24 and continuing into the first part of November. Sobeys province wide will be helping all food banks at this time.

For more information call Lepper at 657-3367.

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OPEN DOORS OFFERING COURSE

The Open Doors Career Resource Center at 229 Main St., Tatamagouche, is offering courses to upgrade Grade 12. For more information or to see what other courses are available at the centre, call 657-0180.

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LIFT YOU SPIRITS

A 12-week course course in Taoist Tai Chi is being offered in Tatamagouche to lift your spirits and renovate your body. The program is being held at Roach Hall at the Hills of Annand, 170 Blair Ave., from 6 to 8 pm. For more information call 657-3860.

 Ellen Millard is a historian, author and longtime resident of Sand Point, near Tatamagouche. Email her at millards@nncweb.ca.

Organizations: Tatamagouche food bank, United Way, Sobeys Open Doors Career Resource Center

Geographic location: Tatamagouche, Colchester, Canada Taoist Tai Chi Annand Sand Point

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