The unmistakeable chords of Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony ring out from the service bell at the La Bouffe Additionnelle in Huntingdon. It is just one of many new additions to the food pantry since its June move to its new location on Lorne Street.
“Initially we wanted to buy a space, but when the town offered us this, it was more than we expected,” says manager Carol Ricard. She admits Huntingdon really came through for the organization, which had spent its last 18 years in a cramped space on Prince Street.
The organization, which offers food aid and support to residents of the Haut-Saint-Laurent, now occupies the space next to the Little Green Library that previously housed the Friperie Communautaire de Huntingdon.
Ricard says that while the move has been difficult, with much of the work being done by herself and two employees, she and her team are much happier in the new space. “We are settling in now,” she adds, pointing out the space is much brighter and accommodating.
With just under 4,000 square feet, the new location almost doubles the workspace, and includes a self-serve section with two freezers which contain frozen meal options from La Tablée des Chefs and processed fruits and vegetables from Les Complices Alimentaires. There is also space for a fridge, and bins of fresh fruit and vegetables.
The location also includes a large area with shelves of food, as well as storage, work, and office spaces. The town took care of painting and did the flooring. A welcome area with a couch and chairs has also been installed. “We want it to be more inviting,” says Ricard, noting their clients are also happy with the space.
“We are getting a lot of new people,” Ricard adds, suggesting the steep rise in expenses including groceries means more people over the last six months have been turning to them for help. She expects the numbers will climb again in September with the start of school and related additional expenses.