New Year, New Home for Columbia Gorge Food Bank
Support needed in the lead-up to Community Food Center’s spring grand opening
THE DALLES, OR — After a long wait and months of construction, the Columbia Gorge Food Bank team has begun the transition to its new home at 3525 Crates Way in The Dalles. With several key aspects of the renovation now complete, the vision of a true Community Food Center is finally coming to fruition — offering a significant boost to efforts to end hunger and its root causes throughout Sherman, Wasco and Hood River counties.
Build-out of the Community Food Center began with the 2020 purchase of a shell of a warehouse, designed and renovated to be a state-of-the-art food bank that prioritizes fresh, nutritious food and community involvement at every step. The warehouse was granted temporary occupancy at the end of 2022 and began to distribute food to the first of 46 community partners in the first days of 2023. Among the facility’s many highlights: over 1,000 square feet of refrigerated storage and more than 600 square feet of freezer space will help expand relationships with local producers to provide additional fresh produce and protein to local pantries, free food markets and meal sites. partner agencies.
“The last three years have shown us that we need to be proactive and adapt to community needs as they come up — quickly and with compassion,” says Scott Radford, Columbia Gorge Food Bank Assistant Manager. “We are excited to now have the space serve the community in ways that we have only dreamed of.”
The project was made possible by congressionally-directed funding, support from Oregon Food Bank, the Murdock Foundation, Google, Home Depot and Avangrid Renewables, and the generosity of grassroots donors and local groups and volunteers. Ongoing community support in the coming months will help to complete construction of the food bank’s offices, flex space and learning kitchen — with an expected grand opening of the full Community Food Center in early spring 2023.
“This is a huge milestone in our work to build food security throughout the Gorge,” said Silvan Shawe, Columbia Gorge Food Bank Community Philanthropy Manager. “ The outpouring of support for our new home has been nothing short of inspirational. And, together, I know our community will bring this important effort across the finish line.”
Community members can visit columbiagorgefoodbank.org to learn more, support the Community Food Center and get involved in anti-hunger efforts throughout the Gorge.
ABOUT COLUMBIA GORGE FOOD BANK
Operating as a locally managed branch of Oregon Food Bank, Columbia Gorge Food Bank partners with more than 40 local community organizations to provide free, nutritious food to over 5,000 neighbors monthly. Our mission is to end hunger and its root causes in Sherman, Wasco and Hood River counties… because no one should be hungry! Learn more about our efforts to build a stronger community food system at columbiagorgefoodbank.org and @columbiagorgefoodbank on social media.