Volunteer Tom McMath sorts through donated goods at the Sources Food Bank in Langley. McMath said he and other volunteers are “disappointed” at the number of businesses that have refused to rent to the food bank. Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

Sources Langley Food Bank can’t find a home

Landlords don’t want to rent to the food bank and time is running out

After years of serving needy clients who include many homeless people, Sources Langley Food Bank is about to become homeless itself.

It has been given until the end of April to find new premises by the people who bought their current home, the church at 5673 200th St. where they lease the basement.

Program manager Jaye Murray said with just weeks left to go, they have been unable to find anyone willing to rent to a food bank.

“We have no place to go, and I mean no place” Murray said.

“Nobody wants the food bank.”

“When we make an appointment [to see a property] and they find out it’s a food bank, they cancel,” she said.

“It’s frustrating.”

Sources food bank service coordinator Darcy Letkemann said by now, she expected the food bank would be settling into a new space.

“I didn’t think that I’d still be here,” Letkemann said.

“It’s extremely tense.”

She said the food bank enjoys considerable community support, both from clients, volunteers, and donor companies, and people have been coming by with leads for them to pursue.

“People come to the door with phone numbers of buildings for us to try,” Letkemann said.

Volunteer Tom McMath, who has been helping out since the food bank opened in 2015, was disappointed by the apparently unfriendly attitude of some Langley landlords.

“‘I’m a little annoyed,” McMath said.

Murray said the food bank has been discussing setting up a temporary distribution centre with another church, but nothing has been agreed upon, and she isn’t sure what will happen if that doesn’t pan out and they don’t have a home by the end of next month.

“I don’t know,” Murray said.

“I honestly don’t know what will happen. “

Since it began operating in Langley City in 2015, Sources has grown considerably.

It now has about 1,200 registered clients, not all of whom are regular users.

Murray said that works out to about 600 people attending the one day of the week that the bank distributes food.

Sources in Langley currently distributes food to clients on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The search for new premises has been going on for nearly a year now, but it became even more urgent in January when the new owners told them they would have to move out by the end of April.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Sources Langley food bank searches for a home

Anyone who has space to rent is asked to call Sources director Denise Darrell at 604-351-7821 or email ddarrell@sources.bc.ca.

The non-profit Sources, which operates a food bank in White Rock, was invited to set up a Langley distribution centre by the Food Banks BC association after a falling-out with the Langley Food Bank.

The association, which represents nearly 100 food banks in the province, said it had received a “significant” number of complaints, both from clients of the Langley Food Bank, and from donors.

Most of the complaints concerned food bank decisions to deny service to people.

The Langley Help Network, the operators of the food bank, opted to quit the association.

.

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Sources food bank service coordinator Darcy Letkemann says the difficulty finding a new home for the 1200-member service has been “nerve-wracking.” Dan Ferguson Langley Advance Times

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