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Mustard Seed gets a $30,000 gift

Island IT has given the Mustard Seed the gift of sight again this Christmas.
Mustard Seed Street Church, on Queens Avenue in Victoria.

Island IT has given the Mustard Seed the gift of sight again this Christmas.

Having donated more than $30,000 worth of high-tech surveillance equipment to the food bank last year, Island IT enhanced the security system with $16,000 worth of new cameras and an expanded monitoring system, which was installed this weekend.

“Last year the Mustard Seed closed because it was having significant security issues, so we donated site security for them so they could re-open their doors,” said Island IT owner Derek Sanderson.

“This year they wanted to expand their hours and offer more programs and assist the community so we deployed that today, and starting Monday they will be able to offer more outreach.”

Last year the Mustard Seed food bank, citing instances of drug use and violence and a lack of resources to monitor some of its programs, closed its daily drop-in centre and weekend meal service temporarily due to safety concerns.

Mustard Seed interim executive director Allan Lingwood, said the donation of the gear has been enormous for the organization.

“We just launched our Seed Hospitality House, a revision of our drop-in program that closed a year ago, so security has been huge in re-opening that,” he said. “We are operating in a much safer way and the security system allows us to review cases of incidents and make sure those breaking the law are not allowed on the premises.”

Lingwood said the donation essentially means they are “back in action” and they now have 16 cameras at entry points, areas of high traffic flow and public access.

The Mustard Seed is close to Sanderson’s heart as he grew up in poverty and needed the help from places like the Mustard Seed.

“My wife and I both grew up impoverished, we grew up on places like the Mustard Seed in order to get somewhere. Well we’re somewhere now and so when we see a legitimate place like the Mustard Seed, helping the community, needing help we want to help them help others.”

Sanderson’s business has been offering IT support, digital surveillance and security in Victoria for seven years.