The Progress file Sarah Gamboa (left) and Doreen Jones started Community Cupboard at Chilliwack middle school in 2013.

Chilliwack’s Community Cupboard closing to allow for classroom space

Program helped feed and cloth Chilliwack families for free

A small but powerful part of the community has to close its doors to make room for classroom space.

The Family of Schools Community Cupboard has been operating out of a portable behind Chilliwack middle school for the past four years. They’ve offered food and clothing to families in need for free, taking in donations from the public.

They announced on their Facebook page on June 7 that the program has to close and has not been able to find a suitable alternative space to operate.

“As most of you have heard the school district has a space problem for the coming years and will require all available portables and classroom space to meet their needs,” they said.

The team of volunteer staff thanked the district for allowing them to use the portable for the past four years. The Community Cupboard was open one day a week, with donation drop offs twice a week. Several classes and teachers around Chilliwack have held food drives for the program, helping keep the shelves stocked. Last November, students at Little Mountain elementary managed to collect 1,400 items for them.

The Community Cupboard will take the rest of June to liquidate their supplies, offering clothing until June 15 and food until June 22.

“Please come and collect any clothing your family will be able to use,” they wrote. “We will make our winter clothing available as well so you may stock up for next year if you would like.”

As for food, while they need to get rid of it they also want to hand it out in a fair process.

“Over the next few weeks, more food will be available than usual,” they wrote. “We will continue to put some restrictions on food in order for everyone to get what they need.”

Five daycare and preschool operations have also been told they have to move off school property at the end of the school year, to free up much-needed space for expected growth at Chilliwack schools, and to allow more divisions in schools as teacher contract language restoration moves ahead.

For more information about the Family of Schools Community Cupboard, call 604-845-3367 and leave a message.