The Memphremagog Food Bank (BAM) – Providing emergency support during Covid-19 Pandemic

By Mable Hastings

The Memphremagog food bank (Banque Alimentaire Memprhemagog-BAM) is a charitable organisation founded in 1991 and incorporated in 1995. The organisation operates under a volunteer Board of Directors and through the efforts of a very devoted staff.
In 2013, the Food Bank modified its mission and its values as follows. The mission of the BAM is to provide temporary food assistance to residents in the Memphremagog MRC who are in need striving to improve the quality of life and help to return to food independence. The values of BAM strive for respect through creating mutual aid, listening and non-judgemental assistance, integrity in guiding choices and actions to respect the rules, laws and to preserve the trust of the community, effectiveness in achieving its mission through sound management, commitment to all and the implementation of maximizing the means to return to the community and finally, altruism in fostering empathy, encouraging self-giving and the use of ones talents and time to serve others.
The BAM offers clients food troubleshooting skills, budget advice, consulting and reference services, dietary advice, children and infant funds and support, Christmas baskets, network service with emergency Energy Estrie and a social café. Their services are free however an evaluation is conducted when a request is made to better understand the person’s situation.
For anyone wishing to donate foods, the BAM accepts non-perishables and nutritious foods and for the most part, economical. In donating to the food bank, you can also include treats and some more expensive foods that disadvantaged families don’t usually get to buy due to budget restraints. Beyond the basics, think about what you would like to receive.
If you feel like being a part of the BAM team and it’s over 80 volunteers, you are welcome to offer a few hours of your time and talents (sorting food, gardening, cooking, etc.). You will likely help improve the quality of life of hundreds of people. The BAM Staff team consists of: ANDRÉE GAGNON, Executive Director, CELINE EDWARD, DANIEL LESSARD, JASMINE BÉDARD, MYRIAM VIGNOLA, JOHNEY SAVARD, JOSEE FONTAINE, FRANCINE LAVALLÉE and MADELEINE LAVALLEE. The BOARD of Directors is made up of: FRÉDÉRIC DEMERS-President – Consultant, CHRISTIAN COUPAL, CHANTALE DEMERS, MICHEL MORISSET, MAREK WAKULCZYK, MELISSA BEAUDOIN and JEAN-FRANÇOIS LALONDE.
“For the Misssisquoi North Volunteer Centre (CABMN) serving the municipalities of Potton, Bolton-Est, Saint-Etienne de-Bolton, Stukely-Sud and Eastman, the BAM has been outstanding in giving its support to our non-profit organisation during the COVID-19 pandemic,” shared Mable Hastings-Executive Director. “There has always been a solid collaboration between BAM and our Partage/Share food bank however we feel we must note with the highest regard, the efforts and support we have received at the difficult time. The team at BAM have been outstanding!”
Considering the current pandemic situation in Quebec and the measures put in place by the Quebec government, the Memphremagog Food Bank (BAM) has been obliged to put into place the following measures at this time:
-Reception is closed; Surplus at the reception desk is no longer available;
-Social café is closed; Social grocery store is closed.
People in a situation of food insecurity may contact us at: 819-868-4438 and requests will currently be conducted by telephone, rather than face-to-face meetings. Following the contact by phone with one of our workers, food aid will be distributed by means of warehouse conveyors, located in the parking lot on the side of the building. It should be noted that only one entrance is available, it’s the one on the side of the building. The BAM is located at 581 rue Sherbrooke in Magog, Quebec J1X 2S4. 819-868-4438.

Published in the Tuesday, April 28 edition of The Record.

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