MCC photo

A group of volunteers display a blanket they made during a Great Winter Warm-up event in Plum Coulee. Together the group finished 150 comforters which will be delivered to families who have been displaced by conflict or disaster.

WINNIPEG, MB—Effective April 1, 2021, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) Canada will relocate its central material resources warehouse from Plum Coulee, Manitoba, to New Hamburg, Ontario. This transition will help facilitate the more rapid distribution of relief supplies – such as comforters, relief kits and canned meat – by reducing the number of Canadian shipping sites and locating the central warehouse closer to an international port.

The move will also allow for canned meat, produced by volunteers in Ontario with MCC’s mobile meat canner, to be stored in and shipped directly from Ontario.

“While MCC has managed shipping sites in both Manitoba and Ontario over the past years, we will now be able to streamline operations and create efficiencies by moving the central warehouse to one shipping site in New Hamburg,” says material resources coordinator Tom Wenger. “More efficient planning and distribution of humanitarian relief supplies means we’ll be able to better serve our partners in places like Honduras, Lebanon, Zambia and Ukraine who request these basic essentials.”

With the relocation of MCC Canada’s central warehouse operations, the Plum Coulee location will be closing its doors on June 30, 2021. One full-time role will be eliminated.

“The material resources warehouse in Plum Coulee has truly been a gathering place for communities in southern Manitoba for comforter making, kit packing and volunteering,” says MCC Manitoba executive director Darryl Loewen. “We are grateful for the role that the warehouse has served to connect volunteers and supporters with MCC’s material resources work.”

The closure of the Plum Coulee warehouse means community members will no longer be able to gather for volunteer activities or drop off donations at that location.

“Volunteers are the heartbeat of MCC’s work, and we are actively pursuing new ways to engage with them, whether they sewed comforters or donated essential items for relief distributions through the warehouse.”

MCC Canada and MCC Manitoba have jointly operated distribution of relief supplies and volunteer activities out of the warehouse in Plum Coulee since 2004. Manitobans will still be able to volunteer and drop off kits and comforters at MCC’s material resources centre in Winnipeg once current pandemic restrictions have been lifted.