A new food program in Abbotsford is inviting people to “take what you need, leave what you can.”
The Mill Lake Community Cupboard celebrated its grand opening on Nov. 8 at Mill Lake Church (33218 Marshall Rd.), and is the first of its kind in Abbotsford.
The program involves a “cupboard” located in the church parking lot – with access from the sidewalk – that people can use 24 hours a day. The cupboard is filled with non-perishable food, and people are invited to take what they need at no cost and without having to leave their name or any other information.
The cupboard – built by Greg Stewart – also contains items such as diapers and hygiene products.
Donations can be left in the cupboard or dropped off at the church during office hours – 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday to Friday and Sunday mornings.
As well, items can be dropped off during a food drive event at the church on Friday, Dec. 1 from 2 to p.m.
The team behind the Mill Lake Community Cupboard includes Jasmine Bhambra, community builder with the United Way; Elise Goertz, community engagement specialist with the United Way B.C.; and Pastor Randy Lemke from Mill Lake Church.
At the grand opening on Nov. 8, remarks were delivered by Lemke; Bhambra; Mayor Ross Siemens; Alison Gutrath, community engagement specialist with the United Way; Vicki Lin, Abbotsford Food Hub coordinator; Sabine Mendez, coordinator of Abbotsford Access; and Yves Trudel, Fraser Valley regional director with the United Way.
“This project’s success is a testament to the power of collaboration, with partnerships, sponsorships, and the dedicated support of volunteers playing a pivotal role,” a statement from the United Way reads.
“As we embark on this journey, we look forward to making a lasting impact in Abbotsford, ensuring that the Mill Lake Community Cupboard remains a source of comfort and assistance for those in need.”
Those wanting more information, can send an email to JasmineB@uwbc.ca or vist “Mill Lake Community Cupboard” on Facebook.