A Crossfield business owner is providing free produce to residents in need. Stacked Bistro and Bakery owner, Debbie Stiles, has a community produce bin that she provides for Crossfield residents in need.

The bin is located within the vestibule of the restaurant. Anybody can access the bin whenever they would like. Stiles stocks it with vegetables and fruit every morning with around 8-10 different items.

"I'm lucky enough to be a restaurant owner who can get produce wholesale for a lot cheaper, but I do this all on my own, the bin has nothing to do with the restaurant."

AirdriePhoto of what the bin could look like. Photo provided by Stiles

For the first five weeks of her providing the bin, she has spent around $1,700 of her own money to help out fellow Crossfield residents in need. 

"I would go into Calgary to the wholesaler, I would purchase things like lettuce and tomatoes for my restaurant. A couple of months ago, I was able to get a large amount of romaine lettuce (some that she would not use) for an insane deal and I wondered if I could find somebody that could use the lettuce. I couldn't believe how quickly it got snapped up. So whenever I would go in, sometimes two to three times a week, I would always get a bunch of extra stuff."

Now, either she or her husband will go to the wholesaler specifically to get food for the bin. Every time they go, it could end up costing them anywhere from $250-$700 per trip. Recently, other Crossfield residents have also wanted to help contribute to helping feed those in need.

"We've had a couple of people contribute a little bit of money to us. I've also got a community member who is going to go set up a bank account for us to make donations easier."

Stilies shared one conversation she had with somebody who received food from the bin and she said it's the reason why she keeps the bin going.

"I had a lady come in on the weekend and she said, 'Just so you know, I also get stuff from the food bank,  they can't do a lot of produce, thank you so much for helping me'. You have no idea the feeling when I see that we're helping people out firsthand."

A few organizations are also chipping in to help buy a commercial fridge to replace the bin so the food can last longer.

"It does only take one person to change the world and then other people get behind it and make it even bigger."

Stiles stated the produce bin will be located in her restaurant vestibule for the foreseeable future at 905 Mountain Avenue in Crossfield.

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