Volunteer Bev Saumier prepares to distribute food to clients at the Sources food bank in Langley during the Wednesday morning distribution. The food bank is searching for a new home because the premises they are renting will be sold. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

VIDEO: Sources Langley food bank searches for a home

Current premises up for sale, hunt for rental space not going well

A few minutes before the doors opened at the Sources Langley Food Bank, program manager Jaye Murray took a look at the line-up.

“Not bad,” she said, peering through the window blinds.

“Just to the corner.”

Some days, Murray said, the line of people waiting for food circles all the way around to the back of the church at 5673 200 St. where the food bank rents space to distribute donated food to the needy.

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

It now has about 1,400 registered clients, not all of whom are regular users.

Last month, a snapshot survey for the Food Banks Canada annual Hunger Count showed the Langley food bank provided support to 708 individuals in March, including 300 children.

While space is limited and the volunteers have to set up and take down the shelves and tables every distribution day, Murray said the food bank is in a good location, near low-income housing on a main road with a decent amount of parking.

But now, with the owners looking to sell, the food bank must find new premises.

Murray said no specific deadline has been set by the owners, but the property is being shown to prospective purchasers.

So far, the search for a new home has been a frustrating one, with a number of potential landlords refusing to consider the food bank as a tenant.

“As soon as they heard it was a food bank, they cancelled the showing,” Murray said.

“People don’t seem to want a food bank in their backyard.”

It doesn’t help that Langley City is experiencing a real estate boom that has reduced the number of potential rental sites.

“Given the number of families that need our support and our services, we have to find a location,” Murray said.

“We just have to. I can’t imagine not being able to provide the necessary support for our families.”

If Sources can’t find a space, Murray said it is possible it would have to stop operating.

“If we have no location, then we can’t provide out service. Then we’d have to sort of pack up.”

She is hoping that someone has a space, a bigger space that would allow Sources to keep up with the growing demand and to serve clients more than one day a week.

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.

READ MORE: Sources low-barrier food bank opens in Langley

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

READ MORE: Langley food banks welcome donated bread price fixing gift card



dan.ferguson@langleytimes.com

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Larry Giesbrecht (R) and other volunteers at the Sources food bank in Langley await the arrival of clients at the Wednesday morning distribution. The food bank is searching for a new home with word the current premises they are renting will be sold. Dan Ferguson Langley Times

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