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The Pitch: Parker Street Food & Furniture Bank

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In this section, we invite non-profit groups working to make Halifax a better place to share their stories. Know a worthy candidate? Email tadams@metroguide.ca.

Established 31 years ago to help provide food to low-income families in Halifax, Parker Street Food Bank is now the largest independent food bank in Nova Scotia. In 2013 Parker Street served an average of 1,000 families per month with supplemental and emergency groceries. That figure has almost doubled, jumping to 1,979 in 2014.

“When I lost my job in the spring, we were forced to choose between paying our rent or buying food,” says a recent food bank client. “Parker Street Food Bank is a necessary service that helps fill the gaps for those of us living in poverty. Without Parker Street, there would have been times when we simply had nothing to eat.”

Parker Street also operates a furniture bank and offers various skills development courses. At Christmas, we provide the ingredients for a traditional turkey dinner. Many individuals and businesses hold toy drives to ensure the children of these families have something to unwrap on Christmas morning.

Parker Street operates two retail outlets, called Great Things in Store, which offer clothing and sundry supplies at greatly reduced prices. The first opened in 2009 on Almon Street and the second store is located on Woodlawn Road in Dartmouth.

Parker Street also helps with its Emergency Fund. This fund provides financial assistance for urgent requirements. “Due to last year’s exceptionally long and cold winter, the fund is completely depleted,” says communications and development manager Stephanie MacWhirter. “We are urging people to donate to the emergency fund so that we don’t have to turn anyone in need away this winter.” parkerstreet.org

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