Linda and Patrick Plunkett both work for 9-10 Club Soup Kitchen. They were able to stock up on some much needed supplies at Wellburn’s Market, which was giving away all leftover food before the store is boarded up. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Linda and Patrick Plunkett both work for 9-10 Club Soup Kitchen. They were able to stock up on some much needed supplies at Wellburn’s Market, which was giving away all leftover food before the store is boarded up. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)

Victoria charities invited to take all remaining food at Wellburn’s Market

The long-standing local grocery store was forced into an early permanent closure after flooding

Dozens of people darted their grocery carts through the aisles of Wellburn’s Market on Friday morning, scooping up everything in sight after store owners contacted local charities to pick up food.

In November the store was forced to close when sewage flooded the basement, causing an early permanent closure. Owners had originally planned on closing at the end of May to make way for a new development.

For two weeks after the flood, said co-owner Victor Lum, they couldn’t access the store. That resulted in two construction bins worth of produce and perishables being thrown out, a sight he didn’t want to see again.

“I just hate to see food go to waste,” he said. “We want to get all the stuff out, especially from the coolers so we can decommission the cases.”

READ MORE: Wellburn’s forced to close due to sewage flooding basement

Now that the store has to be out by the end of the month, the Lums and friends reached out to local charities to see if they were interested in taking any of the leftover food. The response was immediate, with four charities already at the doors by 9 a.m. Friday morning.

One of them was the 9-10 Club, the soup kitchen behind St. Andrew’s Cathedral. Patrick Plunkett and his wife, Linda Plunkett, were on scene gathering carts full of canned tomatoes, kidney beans, salt, margarine and other staples for soup.

“We serve around 150 to 170 bowls of soup per day,” Patrick said, “We’ve got an immense amount of stuff, the tomatoes alone… I’ve got to load up my RAV4 – I’m afraid my shocks are going to go under.”

Linda also focused on grabbing some tasty sweets, including cakes and soda.

“I feel like I’ve won that Ellen DeGeneres game where you’ve got a few minutes to fill your cart at Walmart, except here I can just come back,” she said.

ALSO READ: Century-old grocery business set to close for new development

As of mid-morning, St. Vincent de Paul, St. John the Divine, the Victoria Women’s Transition House Society and the 9-10 Club had already filled their first round of cars, with more charities on their way.

“It’s just incredible,” Patrick said. “It’s unfortunate that it worked out this way [for Wellburn’s], but it would be more unfortunate if this stuff went to waste.”

Everything needs to be cleared from the store by the end of January, when it will be boarded up and closed for good after 105 years in business.

“I really want to thank all of Victoria for supporting us all of these years,” Lum said.

nicole.crescenzi@vicnews.com

Like us on Facebook, send a Tweet to @NicoleCrescenzi
and follow us on Instagram

charityFood Banklocal business

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News
Search called off for small plane that went down in rough water south of Victoria

Plane bound for Port Angeles from Alaska believed to have one occupant, an Alaskan pilot

Royal B.C. Museum conservator Megan Doxsey-Whitfield kneels next to a carved stone pillar believed to have significance as a First Nations cultural marker by local Indigenous people. The pillar was discovered on the beach at Dallas Road last summer. Museum curatorial staff have been working with Songhees and Esquimalt Nation representatives to gain a clearer picture of its use. (Photo courtesy Royal BC Museum)
Stone carving found on Victoria beach confirmed as Indigenous ritual pillar

Discussion underway with the Esquimalt and Songhees about suitable final home for the artifact

The Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre will once again be transformed into temporary sheltering for 45 individuals starting in March. (Courtesy of the B.C. Government)
Temporary shelter to resume at Victoria Save-On-Foods arena in March

BC Housing signed lease with GSL Group from Feb. 1 to May 30

A property at 1224 Richardson St. in Victoria is the subject of a rezoning application that seeks permission to build three low-rise buildings with 24 units, including four that would rent for below market rate. (Google Streetview)
Victoria development in Fairfield features subsidized housing element

Public hearings this Thursday (Jan. 28) for proposals on Richardson Street and Heywood Avenue

Leila Bui with her parents Tuan (left) and Kairry Nguyen on Jan. 27, 2020 after Tenessa Nikirk was found guilty for striking Bui in a Saanich crosswalk. (Nina Grossman/News Staff)
Driver convicted of dangerous driving after hitting Leila Bui out on bail

Tennesa Nikirk was convicted for striking then 11-year-old Leila Bui with her car

British Columbia Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry addresses the media during a news conference at the BC Centre of Disease Control in Vancouver B.C. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward)
B.C. announces 485 new COVID-19 cases, fewest deaths in months

‘The actions we take may seem small, but will have a big impact to stop the virus,” urges Dr. Henry

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Jan. 26

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(B.C. government photo)
POLL: Would you like to see restrictions on travel to B.C. from other provinces?

With a host of more virulent strains of COVID-19 appearing across the… Continue reading

Former Vancouver Giants forward Evander Kane is seen here in Game 7 of the second round of the 2009 WHL playoffs against the Spokane Chiefs (Sam Chan under Wikipedia Commons licence)
Gambling debts revealed in details of bankruptcy filing by hockey star Evander Kane

Sharks left winger and former Vancouver Giants player owes close to $30 million total

Othman “Adam” Hamdan, pictured in front of Christina Lake’s Welcome Centre, was acquitted of terrorism related charges in 2017. He has been living in Christina Lake since November 2020. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Man acquitted on terrorism charges awaits deportation trial while living in Kootenays

Othman Ayed Hamdan said he wants to lead a normal life while he works on his upcoming book

B.C. Premier John Horgan wears a protective face mask to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 prior to being sworn in by The Honourable Janet Austin, Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia during a virtual swearing in ceremony in Victoria, Thursday, November 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Premier Horgan calls jumping COVID vaccine queue ‘un-Canadian’

Horgan says most people in B.C. are doing their best to follow current public health guidelines

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, left, and Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart share a laugh while speaking to the media before sitting down for a meeting at City Hall, in Vancouver, on Friday August 30, 2019. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
Vancouver mayor, Health Canada to formally discuss drug decriminalization

Kennedy Stewart says he’s encouraged by the federal health minister’s commitment to work with the city

Downtown Fernie is pictured after a snowfall.
B.C. Premier John Horgan speaks at B.C. legislature on the province’s mass vaccination plan for COVID-19, Jan. 22, 2021. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 quarantine not an option for B.C., John Horgan says

Apres-ski parties increase risk, not interprovincial travel

Most Read