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The Clark County Food Bank strives to alleviate hunger and its root causes in Clark County, Washington.
Clark County Food Bank originated in 1985 as the Clark County Food Bank Coalition. This coalition was a consortium of local hunger relief agencies that banded together to take advantage of available federal, state and county resources in their effort to provide assistance to hungry people in Clark County. The Salvation Army (TSA) became the lead agency for the coalition in 1995 and leased a building in Hazel Dell which to this day houses TSA's Family Services Center and CCFB's 8,000 square foot Stop Hunger Warehouse; which operates as the central food bank for our area.
In 2004 TSA decided it would be in their best interests to move the Family Services Center to a location 'owned' by them. During the same period it had become very clear that the leased site was wholly inadequate to meet growing need in the county and that a new site was not just desirable, but an absolute and urgent necessity. While TSA remains as our lead agency they were unwilling to be the driving force toward securing a new site for the food bank. This led to an appeal to attract members of our community to form a group whose purpose would be addressing the siting issue. It was determined that the scope of activities and mission of the original Coalition needed to be broadened beyond the structure of the organization at that time, which led to several key changes. The by-laws were revised, a board of directors was elected and Clark County Food Bank was born, becoming the successor of the Coalition's 501 (c) (3) non-profit designation.
As the search for a more suitable building continued, the county learned of our mission and suggested the concept that we construct a new distribution facility as part of the redevelopment of a 79 acre property in Hazel Dell that Washington State University had been operating as an agricultural experimentation site since 1949, but was preparing to cede back to the county. WSU has since returned the property to County ownership and the County is pursuing various options that maintain the agricultural history and nature of the site in cooperation with WSU and many other interested parties, including CCFB.
Until recently our primary plan and focus has been to construct our new building as part of the 78th St. Project. While we greatly appreciate the County's offer of a long term lease for property on the parcel, various considerations have led us to rethink this concept and we have elected to terminate our letter of intent in order to pursue other opportunities.
Our capital campaign for funding continues with grants and donated monies now dedicated to the purchase of 2.09 acres of property in the Cold Creek Industrial Park located in Hazel Dell and the construction of our new central warehouse and distribution center.
In the meantime, with TSA as our lead agency and providing critical support, CCFB continues to operate Stop Hunger Warehouse as the central food bank serving Clark County. The continued support of our community in the effort to alleviate hunger is very much appreciated and we at CCFB fully intend to further that effort from a world-class operation at the earliest possible date.
- Marlene Ashworth
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