The Surrey Food Bank may move to Guildford.
For about six years, the charity has been actively seeking a new location, but has come up empty handed.
But now the Anglican Parish of the Church of Epiphany, at 10553 148 St., wants to partner with the organization in a redevelopment project that would see the food bank build a new home to suit its needs.
“They’re in the market to rebuild their church on that site,” explained Feezah Jaffer, associate executive director of the food bank.
“They have close to two acres and they wanted to partner with an organization that kind of has the same philosophy, the same community connection. They thought the food bank would be perfect because they want to bring the community together.”
The idea is the property would be subdivided with the food bank on one side and the church on the other, she added.
Jaffer said this is a “great opportunity” for the food bank.
“It’s central, being in Guildford, and it’s right along a transit line and there’s the new light rail hopefully coming in… Nearly 40 per cent of our clients use transit.”
And, she noted that a “good chunk” of the food bank’s clients live in the area.
Jaffer said there have been concerns in the community but said “we’re going to be working in the next few months through the summer and fall, looking at those concerns and how we can address them.”
If the project goes ahead, the food bank would tailor the building to their needs.
“We would need at least 16,000 square feet. We need area for distribution, area for storage and warehouse operations, loading dock, parking of course, that we’d be sharing with the church,” said Jaffer. “We also need offices for administration and then we wanted to do client rooms and multipurpose rooms and perhaps even an industrial kitchen.”
Jaffer said the hope is to expand their programming, invite other organizations into the building, as well as partnering with the church and their programming.
“It’s a win-win situation for both sides,” she said.
A meeting was held Tuesday (June 27) to discuss the needs of both parties, she explained.
“There’s a lot of red tape to go through yet,” Jaffer added.