What is the Barrhaven Food Cupboard (BFC)?

BFC is a community-led organization that provides food assistance to families in need in the Barrhaven area through the generosity of our community.

How did the Barrhaven Food Cupboard get its start?

Originally we were part of the Family Services Association of Churches (FAMSAC) food bank that was founded in 1969 in Bells Corners. In 1993, the Barrhaven United Church set up a separate food depot as an outreach activity when the church was built on Jockvale Rd.

Since then we have grown. The Barrhaven Food Cupboard has evolved into a community-led service that has operated autonomously from the church since 2005. And Barrhaven has grown too. The demand for our help is much greater, the population of the community more diverse.

We have to move on to a larger space.

The Barrhaven Food Cupboard has reorganized with its own Board of Directors and we are working towards a storefront of our own on Barrhaven United Church property, just south of the church.

Though we are moving on, we are deeply grateful to the Barrhaven United Church for all the support weve enjoyed since we began. Even when the BFC became an autonomous community-run organization in 2005, the Barrhaven United Church continued to allow us to use church facilities free of charge.

Who runs the Barrhaven Food Cupboard?

BFC is managed and run 100 per cent by volunteers who want to help those in need in our community. Our volunteers come from all walks of life and even from outside Barrhaven.

Our Board of Directors, elected by the community, is responsible for overall management. Volunteer coordinators oversee operations such as picking up and sorting donations, packing food orders, arranging and delivering food, and liaising with volunteers and donors.

Membership in the Barrhaven Food Cupboard is open to anyone in the community who is interested!

Where is the Barrhaven Food Cupboard located?

We are very fortunate that the Barrhaven United Church continues to allow us to use the church at 3013 Jockvale Rd. for food storage and distribution. We dont have an office or paid staff so all other activities that do not need to be done at the storage facility are carried out by BFC volunteers out of their own homes.

How many people do you help?

BFC operates two food assistance programs the year-round regular program and the Christmas Hamper program. Food orders consist of non-perishable food items and every day personal and household items. Because we dont have the refrigerated facilities to handle perishable food, we include grocery gift certificates in the food orders we provide so that families can purchase perishables such as milk, bread, meat and fresh produce.

The number of families who need help in Barrhaven has increased dramatically in recent years, from fewer than 40 food orders per month in 2009 to more than 110 per month in 2014. This means the Barrhaven Food Cupboard helped 315 families in 2014, delivering 56,885 kilograms of food and more than $30,000 in grocery gift certificates to more than 1,100 people!

The Christmas Hamper program has also grown significantly from 81 requests for hampers in 2010 to more than 150 requests in 2014 an increase of 85% over 5 years. Thanks to the generosity of our community and Barrhaven businesses, we were again able to fill all hamper requests.

From where and whom does funding and other support for the Barrhaven Food Cupboard come?

The Barrhaven Food Cupboard is supported 100 per cent by donations from members of the community. We do not receive any funding or other support from government, government agencies or the Ottawa Food Bank.

The importance of donations to the BFC

How much does the Barrhaven Food Cupboard spend on administration and overhead?

The majority of the resources donated to us are used to directly help families who need food assistance. The Barrhaven United Church provides BFC free use of its facilities and a dedicated storage area and BFC volunteers pay out of their own pockets for expenses incurred in BFCs work such as using their own cars for picking up and delivering food. We do not maintain an office or have any paid staff.