Morin file photo

MOUNTAIN – Scotiabank has followed through on a suggestion to leave more than an empty building behind when they move their bank office out of South Mountain.

One of the ideas brought up by residents, when meeting with bank officials about the closure of the bank, was to turn the bank building into a food bank or a space the community could use.

Now that idea has become a reality.

“Scotiabank is proud to be able to donate this building to the South Mountain Community to assist with the expansion of the House of Lazarus,” says Martine Laviolette, District Vice President, St. Lawrence District. “We have been members of the North Dundas community for over 100 years and are happy to see this building continue to serve as centre for the community.”

The food bank will be opening at the South Mountain location, 10619 Main Street, by early September. There will be no interruption in services for food bank clients.

The House of Lazarus was thankful for the decision.

“We are grateful to Scotiabank for this generous donation,” HOL client services manager Kim Merkley said. “We’re really excited about having the extra space for our food bank. It will allow us to better serve our clients and to work more efficiently.”

The current food bank location is in a crisis for space, Merkley added.

“House of Lazarus started over 30 years ago out of the trunk of a car. Over the years they have grown as they deepened connections within the local community. This seems to be the next evolution in our story. The bank is more than a business. It is also a gathering place. With this gift and with the continued support from our amazing community, we hope to continue to be that connection within the village,” said Mark vanDelst, HOL’s board of directors chair. When provincial regulations allow for larger meetings, the South Mountain building will also offer a community gathering space where residents can stop by for coffee and more. Once the food bank’s new location is open, food donations will be accepted in both Mountain and South Mountain.