The Fort Saskatchewan Food Bank has announced that they will share space inside their location with the Fort Saskatchewan Furniture Bank Society.
Starting on May 1, the furniture bank will be moving into Bay 7 of the Fort Saskatchewan Nourishment Centre, which is where the food bank operates.
The furniture bank was previously located in a small space on 103 Street, with employees and volunteers saying that a larger space has been needed for a long time.
"Sometimes we had to turn away donations because we didn't have the space to accommodate," said Darren Redlick, president of the furniture bank. "The move into the food bank building Nourishment Centre nearly doubles our space."
On top of this, the furniture bank hopes that this can help spread awareness of its presence in Fort Saskatchewan.
"The food bank is much more well known in the community than we are, so the fact that we're in that building will bring a lot more visibility, both for donors and certainly for our clients, there will be more awareness of the services we provide," said Redlick.
The plan for the furniture bank to relocate into the Nourishment Centre has been in the works for around a year and a half, with both programs' organizations serving similar clientele.
"Their vision and who they serve is very similar to ours," said Kassandra Gartner, executive director of the food bank. "We had space, and we knew we could share." Their mission aligns with ours and I believe they serve their clients with the same compassion and care that we strive for when we are providing food.
They have a need for additional space while we have ample warehouse space and the desire to create something different and special, here onsite.
However, this does not mean that the furniture bank and the food bank will be sharing joining the services they offer. The food bank is a virtual bank which isn't open to the public. The furniture bank will only be sharing the warehouse area for the space. The Furniture Bank is a virtual bank and currently does not have regular hours open to the public.
The Food Bank and the Furniture Bank remain separate entities and will continue serving the community in ways they already do.
"Affordable space is really at a premium in Fort Saskatchewan," said Gartner. "There's very little affordable space for nonprofit usage."