In 2018, the Brome Lake Food Bank was used by more people than in any single year in its 28-year history. It also had more people registering to start using it, more people stopping to use it because they were more financially secure and more donations were received than any other year. The organization is in the process of moving into a larger space at Centre Lac Brome to allow it to diversify to better meet the needs of the clients.
Last year, the Board of the Food Bank lost two very devoted Board members, Ann and Roger Pagé, but was happy to welcome Manon Desgens and Ken Battley to join the other valuable assistants. This organization is only viable thanks to donations from the IGA, local farms and other businesses and organizations as well as private financial aid and gifts of perishables and non-perishables. The number of $10 donation bags purchased at the IGA exceeded all expectations.
Currently, there are 77 clients registered that have used the Food Bank from once last year to every month. There were 428 special requests over the year, and that amounted to 1,114 people fed, in addition to dogs and cats. These are quite staggering figures for the Town of Brome Lake, Brome and West Bolton. It is sad to know that there are so many needy people in our community but heartening to witness the generosity that exists.
Credit should go to president, Gary Crandall and treasurer, Louis Pagé, along with Bev Crandall, Ric Walker, Tom Kilbride and Jeannette LeBlanc who are all directors. It is impossible to name all the volunteers, but certainly Pierre Vaillant, Nicole and Errol Fréchette, Carol Krainyk and Marie-Josée Gagné play a large part in the successful running of the organization. There are also clients that provide invaluable help in many different ways.
Lastly, Maureen Kilbride, who was a long-time and dedicated volunteer and the secretary of the Food Bank, recently passed away. Our condolences to her husband and family.