The Town of Whitby and Feed the Need in Durham are partnering to provide better access to healthy food options for those in need. A new market-style food bank is now open at Iroquois Park Sports Centre, helping to provide a more accessible, dignified, and equitable way for individuals to access food bank services and healthy food options in a community setting. The market will be operated by Feed the Need in Durham (FTND), and supported by volunteers and the Town of Whitby to address food insecurity in the community.

How To Access The Food Bank

Pre-registration is required to access the shopping-style experience at The Market located at Iroquois Park Sports Centre (500 Victoria Street West) in Whitby. First-time registration can be done at The Market each Thursday between 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. First-time registrants will receive a client ID from FTND that can be used to book future shopping experiences. Once you receive a client ID, it can be used to access online booking, which opens each Friday at 10 a.m. for the following week and will remain open until all shopping spots are filled.

In response to significant community need and FTNDs commitment to ensuring sufficient food availability, only 100 booking spots will be offered per week for families or individuals. Should spots be filled, pre-packaged food bags will be offered at The Market during hours of operation to anyone in need of food.

Instead of putting a pre-selected food hamper in someone’s hands, registered visitors can move freely through the space, browsing the shelves and choosing the foods that best meet their families needs. In addition to providing a variety of choices for visitors, The Market at Iroquois Park Sports Centre will allow access to more fresh and frozen foods, like meat and produce, in addition to non-perishables, to be shared with those seeking support; this empowers visitors to meet their unique dietary needs and family preferences. With extended evening availability, the market meets rising demand and helps fill current gaps in local food bank services.

How To Support The Food Bank

Addressing food insecurity is a community effort. There are several ways that community members can help support The Market:

Donate Funds:make a monetary donation to FTND onlineor over the phone at 905.571.3863. The donation line is staffed from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday to Thursday each week or you can leave a voicemail and a member of the team will get back to you.

Donate Food:You can drop off non-perishable food donations at Iroquois Park Sports Centre (500 Victoria Street West) in Whitby during facility operating hours or at the FTND warehouse (371A Marwood Drive) in Oshawa, Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A list of most needed items can be found here.

Volunteer:complete an online volunteer application form to help support The Market.

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Bryen writes about local Durham community news, including regional events, municipality updates, entertainment, lifestyle, and the great outdoors. Email him directly if you want your business profiled or know a community member that deserves recognition -