Cash-strapped Mustard Seed forced into mortgage

For the first time in the society’s history, it's taking out a collateral mortgage on the Mustard Seed’s Hope Farm Healing Centre

Chris Riddell is in the process of filling out paperwork he feels he has no choice but to do if the Mustard Seed Street Church hopes to continue serving people in need.

For the first time in the non-profit society’s history, the executive director is taking out a collateral mortgage on the Mustard Seed’s Hope Farm Healing Centre north of Duncan, where drug addicts go to recover.

“That’s something I’d never thought I’d see,” Riddell said of mortgaging the property. “The coffers are bare. We’re doing that as a backup.”

The Mustard Seed, which also operates a food bank in Victoria, has seen the worst decline in monetary donations in six years. And since it receives no government funding, the society’s already tight $2.2-million annual operating budget may have to be further trimmed.

To make matters worse, the society has exhausted its $100,000 rainy-day fund to cover operational expenses, such as heating and lighting bills and putting gas in vans used to pick up food donations at grocery stores.

“Food-wise we’re holding our own, but at the same time you can’t take a turnip and put it in the gas tank of a vehicle and expect the trucks to run,” said Brent Palmer, Mustard Seed food bank director.

“I guess, long run, if we don’t get the finances in then we’ll seriously have to look at making cutbacks.”

Every month, the food bank feeds an average of 6,800 people a month who come from across Greater Victoria.

Times are tough for everyone. People are being more frugal with their financial donations, but Riddell hopes the community will help in the coming months, just as it did by contributing about $1 million in donations late last year.

The food bank just launched the beginning of its Christmas campaign yesterday (Oct. 13) with the third annual 48-hour Great Canadian Food Fight, a food-drive challenge that involves Halifax, Regina and Victoria.

Every dollar generated and non-perishable food item collected will help bolster the bank balance and top up the shelves.

Food Fight donations can be dropped off at all major grocery stores. For details or to donate cash online, please visit mustardseed.ca.

 

 

Just Posted

Vancouver Island woman to attempt historic swim across Juan de Fuca Strait today

Ultra-marathon swimmer Susan Simmons to attempt to swim from Victoria to Port Angeles and back

PHOTOS: Tour de Victoria takes off

1,800 cyclists took off in the Ryder Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria for a city-wide loop

Veteran Saanich councillor Vicki Sanders won’t seek re-election

‘Council is becoming more complicated,’ says Coun. Leif Wergeland

Shamrocks hold 1-0 lead over Burrards

Bob Heyes said it is going to be a different game on Sunday in Maple Ridge

‘We will not forget:’ Thousands attend funeral fallen Fredericton officers

Hundreds of officials marched in the parade, which included massed band, several police motorcycles

Five things to do in Greater Victoria this weekend

Puppy yoga, horses, cars, water guns and more make up this weekend’s list of events to see

Longtime broadcaster joins race for Saanich council

Ian Jessop says he wants to bring support to Mayor Richard Atwell around council table

Smoky skies like a disappearing act for sights, monuments around B.C.

Haze expected to last the next several days, Environment Canada said

Canadians react to death of former UN secretary-general Kofi Annan at age 80

Nobel Peace Prize-winning former UN leader died early Saturday following a short illness

44 drownings so far this year in B.C.

Lifesaving Society urging caution to prevent deaths while on lakes, oceans and in pools

Some of B.C.’s air quality levels worse than Jodhpur, India

Okanagan, northern B.C. seeing some of the worst air quality globally

VIDEO: Ground crews keep a close eye on largest B.C. wildfire

Originally estimated to be 79,192 hectares, officials said more accurate mapping shows smaller size

Canadians believe in immigration but concerned about asylum seekers: study

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada paid for study to understand Canadian attitudes

Most Read