INTERFAITH FOOD BANK HISTORY

Planting Roots, Growing Community

Interfaith Food Bank is the offspring of a service which had its beginnings in Our Lady of the Assumption Church. Requests for food and assistance were coming not only from people in the parish, but from all areas of Lethbridge and district. The food bank outgrew its quarters in the Assumption Church and moved to the basement of the Catholic Charities Clothes Bank, taking the name of Catholic Charities Food Bank.

In October 1989, Catholic Charities Food Bank moved to share a vacant space in a City of Lethbridge building occupied by the Lethbridge Soup Kitchen. However, in 1990, the food bank moved to 1102 3rd Avenue North as the space they’d been sharing was torn down to make way for the new Lethbridge Family Services building.

As support was coming from the majority of churches in the community, the name of the organization was changed to Interfaith Food Bank Society of Lethbridge.  The society was both a provincially registered non-profit society and nationally registered charitable organization when its growth necessitated another move in 1993 to 1116 3rd Avenue North.  Having first occupied the most eastern bay of the building, by 2005 Interfaith was operating out of the entire facility and had introduced The Interfaith Chinook Country Kitchen, a community kitchen program that teaches participants how to cook healthy meals on a limited budget.

With further growth, it had become evident that the society was in need of a building of its own.  By September 2010, Interfaith took possession of a more ideal facility directly across the street, 1103 3rd Avenue North.  Immediate construction began to get the building ready for food distribution which commenced from the new facility just two months later.  Phase 2 renovations were completed in early 2013, and classes resumed at The Interfaith Chinook Country Kitchen, now settled in their newly finished kitchen and childcare suite.

March of 2013 Interfaith received a grant allowing the establishment of Interfaith Learning Garden, which would provide fresh produce for the cooking classes, and opportunities for garden education. This was the final phase of the Planting Roots, Growing Community capital campaign.