Food Cupboard Pilot Project

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Pilot Project tests new way to distribute food 

If you regularly enter our Food Cupboard (470 Auden Rd.), you may have noticed a number of changes: a new double-door fridge, sturdier shelves . . . and lots of boxes. 

It may appear chaotic, but there is method in the madness. Our group is starting a pilot project with the Guelph Food Bank. It’s a test of a new food distribution model. The goal: to bring more support directly to areas in the city where it is most needed.

We have long been food bank member. In the past, the amount and type of food we received varied. Through this pilot, we will obtain a wider variety of healthy offerings. Simply put, our pantry will act as an additional hub for the food bank.

fresh produce

The Guelph Food Bank will be delivering more non-perishables to our pantry at 470 Auden

We are helping to offer more food closer to home

Perhaps you, like many of our neighbours, are experiencing barriers to accessing food. If you live in our project area, a commute across the city to the food bank will no longer be necessary. Our food pantry will strive to give a comparable shopping experience much closer to home.

For those in our project area, our pantry will now offer:

  • A greater selection of perishable food (e.g. dairy, fruits and vegetables)
  • Meat and protein to accommodate dietary needs (e.g. halal, vegetarian)
  • Soap, toothbrushes and other household supplies.

A new fridge for 470 Auden

A soft launch means gradual changes. Here is what to expect. 

COVID prevented our intended January launch. Instead, we are offering a “soft” opening. In the coming weeks, patrons should anticipate some changes in how we operate, including:

  • Greater ability to accommodate dietary needs
  • Implementation of a point allowance for food based on family size (this will increase ability to shop for what is needed most)
  • Formalized registration and check out process*
  • Additional open hours paired with limited number of family visits per month*

*Anticipated date: March 1,2022. Changes will be announced via social media, our Food Cupboard webpage and posted notice.

What to expect: 

We are going to test out a points based system for food distribution. This will increase your ability to shop for what is most needed.

A new registration and check-out process will help us manage inventory, advocate for greater support and assist with grant writing and reporting. 

Some things will stay the same . . . 

Our food cupboard is run by a small group of volunteers and neighbours. A few have helped for many years. Others recently joined. You may get to know some in a customer service role. Many serve behind the scenes: buying supplies, securing support, rescuing food, organizing, coordinating food drives, helping to make the holidays better.

They all share something in common. All have lent a hand through the pandemic’s waves. Their gift of time means we can keep our doors open. They are also skilled at creating a welcoming culture by listening, offering encouragement, sharing resources, and suspending judgment.

All changes require patience and openness to change. As always, our desire to create a sense of community and connection remains constant. Constructive feedback is welcome. 

Our volunteers are skilled at creating a welcoming culture by listening, offering encouragement, sharing resources, and suspending judgment.

More information on the announcement can found in the Food Bank's newsletter.

Grange Hill East Neighbourhood – Pilot Project Map

Consider volunteering as a Food Cupboard Assistant.