Moosomin Thrift Store and Food Share celebrates 5th anniversary in new building
May 9, 2023, 3:57 pm
Sierra D'Souza Butts
On Tuesday, May 9 The Moosomin Thrift Store and Food Share is hosting a free barbecue for the community at noon, to celebrate their 5th anniversary of their new location in town.
Even though the organization moved to a new location in Moosomin a few years ago, they have been active in the community for almost 20 years.
Staff at the not-for-profit organization felt it was important to celebrate the milestone because of how much of a difference the location has made to the business.
“As soon as we opened this building there was excitement because it was bright, big, a new layout and very user friendly to shop in,” said Lori Shepherd, Chair of South East HealthAbility Society (SEHAS).
“We’ve seen substantial growth in both shopping and in our finances too.
“We’re able to give back to the community too, because of the people shopping here at the Thrift Store—that money is kept separately for the Thrift—where we allocate it to different charities or groups.”
In 2022, the Moosomin Thrift Store donated $25,640 to various organizations in the community.
“So far in 2023, we’ve donated $30,600 to organizations in the community,” said Samantha Campbell, Manager of the Moosomin Food Share.
Having the support from the community and staff has helped the thrift store continue for all of these years, said Shepherd and Campbell.
“We couldn’t run the store if we didn’t have people shopping here,” said Shepherd.
“Some people if they make a purchase they’ll give us the change back. We couldn’t do it otherwise, if people didn’t come here to shop.”
“Also people donating their stuff helps too,” Campbell added. “If people didn’t donate their stuff for us to sell, we wouldn’t be able to sell it and make money off of it.”
With the organization continuing to grow and evolve, they have also created a website—www.moosominfoodshare.com—where they post big items that are for sale in their store, as well as updates on donations that are needed for the food bank.
“Now with our new website, Sam can list different things that might be a little bit more valuable to people,” said Shepherd.
“I think that’s more of the age we need to focus on, is the group that’s on social media.”
History behind community thrift store
Shepherd spoke about how the idea for having a thrift store in Moosomin first started back in 2004.
“There was a number of volunteers and board members who got it started,” said Shepherd.
“They just saw a need for food to be given out to the community, and one of the ways it came about was managing a thrift store and giving back that way.
“It started off on a very small basis and in a small building, and it’s grown from there.”
Prior to moving the Moosomin Thrift Store and Food Share into its current building, the organization was located in two different spots before that.
“We were on Main Street before, where Crate House is now,” said Shepherd.
“The other was at the old Kinability centre. We heard that this building was coming up for sale. They gave us a really fair price. We didn’t have to do a lot of work to this building it was in phenomenal shape, and we just made it our own.”
As of now, there are about 25 to 30 people who work and volunteer at the store.
“We knew to allow lots of space for the food share when we got this building,” said Shepherd.
“We made the food share bigger and more user friendly, and more room for the volunteers to work and put food away.”
Campbell said the food share has purchased a lot of equipment from grants to help support its work.
“All of the freezers in the back were purchased through grants,” she said.
“Our tables, flooring, sink, all of that was through grants that we were able to source and receive. As well even our aero garden.”
BBQ on May 9
The barbecue for the Moosomin Thrift Store and Food Share will start at 12 p.m. on May 9, and go until 1:30 p.m.
There will be burgers, hot dogs, drinks and dessert for people to enjoy. As well as a spin the wheel for discounts.
“We’re hoping to see and welcome people, also to show them our latest improvements,” said Shepherd.
“We want them to know that we’re still here, that we’re doing well and we’re giving back, that’s why we want to give back in this way too by giving food and having lots of fun.”
At the celebration, there will be a food bank donation box available for people to donate food items to, that will help contribute to the food share’s monthly hampers that are given to about 35 local families.
As well, the food donations will go to their two new programs for local children and adolescents in the community—Backpacks for Children and Milk for Children.