LEWISPORTE, NL — People lined up in cooler temperatures on Nov. 14 awaiting the grand opening of the Interfaith Goodwill Centre and Food Bank.
Since July 1 volunteers had undertaken an effort to relocate the facility from where it was located below Shopper’s Drug Mart to the old Riff’s location next to Canada Post on Main Street in Lewisporte.
“It’s been a long process, but it’s been well worth it,” said Interfaith Good Will Centre and Food Bank board of directors chairperson Rev. Stephanie McClellan. “There’s incredible inventory but there’s also a lot of love packed on these shelves.”
McLellan said the community played a big role in providing donations that add to the inventory and include pretty much everything from clothing for the whole family, to housewares, home décor, jewellery, toys and much more.
“We are very thankful for the donations that come in,” she said. “It’s a time when people are especially in need and especially want to share.”
The spirit of sharing was also felt in the food bank, where the Lewisporte Area Consumers Co-op donated shelving and a cooler.
“We had all kinds of support from the Co-op and other businesses/organizations, so we could get the place set up well,” McClellan said.
The need is still great for the services of the food bank.
“The food bank is serving more people all the time,” McClellan said. “It’s an unfortunate situation.
“It’s good that we can do the ministry and have the food to share and of course that comes from the people who shop at the Goodwill, the money goes back into the food bank, as well as people who donate in their churches or in the food drives around town. All those donations come here, and we can help those families that are finding it especially hard this year.”
She noted, “As our numbers go up, and more people are finding it a struggle, we are able to answer some more of those needs as best we can.”
The Goodwill Interfaith Centre is open Monday to Friday from 1-4 p.m. Food bank days are held twice a month, with the next one taking place on Nov. 29. The dates are also posted on the centre door.
Words of welcome
Sharing in the celebration of the grand opening of the Interfaith Goodwill Centre and Food Bank were Pastor Brian Brown and Councillor Ken Tucker. They each shared their thoughts on the occasion:
Brown: “Without the volunteers from the churches and the staff the Goodwill Centre wouldn’t happen. We are so thankful for all of the volunteers and all the people who gave to this worthy cause. We are excited to part of this now and for the future. It’s a beautiful facility, excellent job by Daphne (Woolfrey) and her crew – we really appreciate this. On behalf of the clergy thank you for your faithfulness in giving to this worthy ministry.”
Tucker: “This is the first time I’ve been in this building in many years. Last time was when it was operated by Riff’s. I was very impressed when I walked through the door. There’s a lot of hard work and dedication by volunteers and I’m sure everyone appreciates it. It is a great service for the public and I’m sure the people who use this facility appreciate what they have seen today.”