The Rosthern District Food Bank had its grand opening of the newly renovated building on April 20. The building has been in operation since January, but the event gave people of the community and surrounding area a chance to tour the facility.
Along with a new look, the building also has a new name, Good Neighbours Food Centre.
“Our dream is to make this a place where neighbours can help neighbours. None of us can make it alone, we need one another,” Rosthern District Food Bank chair Wilmer Froese said during a speech at the grand opening. “We want to be neighbours helping neighbours and that’s why we called it Good Neighbours Food Centre.”
Froese was very appreciative of all the volunteers and businesses who gave their time and money to make this project a reality. Inside the building there is a plaque with names of everyone who donated money toward the new centre.
“I’m really grateful actually, to see so many people that have given (money) and made this possible,” he said.
The original fundraising goal was $100,000 and Froese said the cost of renovations was more than that amount. However, they still raised $110,000, which was enough to complete the project.
A lot of people showed up for the grand opening and Froese was very thankful for the turnout.
“They showed really good support. We had a good crowd here and it felt really good,” he said.
The renovations to the building started last July and they concluded in November. Froese was really impressed with how fast the renovations were done.
“What I appreciated was that this building was completed in five months basically. I really never had to wait for the trades people, which really is rather rare when it comes to construction,” he said. “In this case they were so prompt. I really was amazed, so that made it so much nicer.”
The centre is more than just a food bank and is useful to everyone in the community.
“This building will serve as a food bank; as a kitchen for teaching and serving food; a multi-purpose room for meetings for classes, for dining, for a market, and a place to be rented by the public for functions,” Froese said.
He also mentioned that the centre is a great opportunity to host lectures about social justice issues.
“Maybe we need to be educated sometimes too, what it means to have not enough and how it affects people and that sort of thing. So the education is for the community as well,” Froese said.
Rosthern Mayor Dennis Helmuth spoke at the grand opening and he too was excited for this centre and the opportunities it presents to the community as the building itself as been a staple in the community for many years.
“There’s a great history here and it’s so refreshing to see what has become of it and the purposes that it’s trying to meet,” he said.
He also mentioned that there might be struggles since it’s a long-term project, but this centre will be beneficial to the community and surrounding area.
“It’s going to be really exciting what happens. And to the extent that we’re motivating our people, our neighbours, our community to become better people, to become a better community, this is an excellent project,” Helmuth said.
Even though the centre itself has a new name, as a legal entity, the organization will still be referred to as Rosthern District Food Bank.