The North Bay Food Bank was founded by Maurice McGuinty, Larry Klein, Ted Hargreaves and Marty Martinello. The concept of the North Bay Food Bank started in the 1980’s, when the North Bay Regional Social Justice Committee was formed at the request of Bishop Alexander Carter, to study the needs of the community, and to act on those needs.
The challenge was accepted by the nights of Columbus, studies were made, and the first soup kitchen opened temporarily at St. Andrew’s Church. Food was prepared at Scollard Hall, through a Canadore College program with the late Sister Vivian Stevenson in charge.
In January 1986, the soup kitchen moved to Main Street West where free space was offered at Renmar Hall. Church groups managed the kitchen, and it was closed after two years since it did not seem to include families with children.
A temporary Food Bank was set up at Scollard Hall and was eventually moved to Worthington Street East, where Golden Age Craft House offered the second floor. This building was soon to be demolished, and the Food Bank was moved to 144 McIntyre Street West, which was ideal; close to a bus stop and service on the main floor. It was managed by elderly volunteers, Ann Percival and Hugh Barr. At this time, bags were prepared in advance for singles, couples and larger families. Pick-ups were every two weeks, and doors were open three afternoons a week.
The next move was to 134 McIntyre Street West, where changes were made, and included computer registrations and a point system, which had been recommended by the Advisory Board, so that choices could be made, with food service provided once monthly.
In November 1997, the Food Bank moved to 1334 Harriet Street, and five years later, it moved to 1367 Hammond Street. Two years after that, it moved once again to 1319 Hammond Street.
In 2014, the North Bay Food Bank purchased the building located at 1016 Fischer Street. Renovations were completed in the spring of 2015. On April 3, 2015, the North Bay Food Bank opened the doors to its permanent location.
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