As a creative solution to clear up space in its warehouse, Airdrie Food Bank (AFB) will hold a two-day garage sale of donated non-food items, with all proceeds funding the food bank’s programming.
Event, marketing and communication manager Christine Taylor said the sale will be a great way for shoppers to get brand-new items at a reduced price, while helping the organization continue to supply food to local families.
“The main focus…is that we need room for food,” she said.
AFB currently has an abundance of non-food items that have been donated, particularly due to the closing of a local pharmacy. Taylor said, while the food bank always appreciates donations, they are facing a critical shortage of storage space. Despite donating items to clients and partner agencies, AFB’s warehouse remains “cram-packed” with items, she said.
“I’m talking pallets and pallets of non-food items,” Taylor said. “Our upstairs mezzanine got so full we couldn’t even walk around in there, and then our old warehouse got full, too.”
With two significant, city-wide food drives having just finished and the food bank’s busiest season approaching, Taylor emphasized the organization's need to empty its warehouse in order to be able to take in food donations.
“Our number one thing is to make sure that no one goes hungry,” she said. “In order to do that, we need to move some of this other stuff.”
This is the first garage sale held by the food bank, Taylor noted, although she said the idea has been floated in the past.
The sale will take place Oct. 4 from 4 to 7 p.m. and Oct. 5 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., and will feature a variety of items, Taylor said, including name-brand perfume, jewellery, beauty and hair products, hygiene items, home decor, sports equipment, party supplies, seasonal Christmas items, toys and games. Ninety per cent of the items, she added, are brand new.
“It is not at our building,” Taylor said. “It is just around the corner 43 East Lake Circle, in the old Goodmen Roofing Building.”
All proceeds will go towards funding food bank programs. According to Taylor, the majority of AFB’s funding comes from the community – besides some grant funding, the organization does not see any federal or provincial dollars for its operations. The money raised through the garage sale will go toward the purchase of food items for Snack Attack and Fuel 4 Kids, two programs that ensure local students have the snacks and lunches they need to stay energized at school.
Because the items for these programs are specific – juice boxes, granola bars and cheese-and-cracker packs – Taylor said they often have to be purchased by the food bank.
“They’re not items we generally get in enough to support our schools,” she said. “We do have to purchase those every month in order to supply them to our schools, and there’s no cost to the schools for that, so the money that comes in for that food is vital. This garage sale will really help us out that way.”
Taylor added arrangements have been made for any items left over after the garage sale – anything left will be further donated, although Taylor said the details still need to be solidified.