Neighbours helping neighbours
What We Do
- Monthly grocery gift cards to help registered clients with at least one week’s worth of food per month
- Culinary skill sharing
- Referrals to partner agencies in the region (click here for an infographic which explains the roles of various agencies)
- Through a subsidy to the local Nanoose Bay Elementary School (NBES), assistance to students for programs such as extracurricular activities, school excursions, etc. that would otherwise be unaffordable to them
- Emergency dental and optical care
- Christmas gifts for families and seniors
Our operations are run completely by volunteers and we run on money, supplies and services donated by members of the community.
Ginny Brucker had recently moved from Parksville Elementary to teach at Nanoose Bay Elementary School when a 6 year old girl, eating cooked macaroni with no sauce out of a sealing jar for lunch, proclaimed “Santa isn’t coming to my house Miss Brucker”.
Ginny passed the hat around the staff room and eventually parents joined in to provide gifts for this six year old and a few of her friends who were in similar situations.
In the middle of winter a single mother with three kids approached Ginny to say that her heat had been turned off and the family had virtually no food.
Staff and friends got together to provide funds to get the hydro reinstated and buy groceries for the family.
This was the start of what was then called “Nanoose Community Cupboard”. Space was donated at Nanoose Place to house food donations and Ginny and her husband Charlie filled in the gaps with shopping trips to get the most economical prices on food staples.
The incredible effort that Ginny and Charlie Brucker put into the Nanoose Community Cupboard each month and the growing need for more services in our community was recognized by many.
George Jarvis and Jay Spence, in particular, saw the need to (as George put it) “put wind under Ginny’s sails”. They set up a volunteer board and registered Nanoose Community Services as a non-profit society.
NCS was facing a crisis. The number of clients were rising, storage facilities for donated food were reduced, and volunteer time required to source, pick up and deliver the necessary food staples had increased exponentially. An operational change was necessary.
The local grocery store, Quality Foods, offered NCS a discount rate on food gift cards and the decision was made to implement a food card system rather than continue to solicit food donations. This allowed Food Bank volunteers to concentrate on the people in need rather than food sourcing, storage, and packaging.