Fight Hunger Build Hope is an opportunity to advance our vision about how food banks work in our community. We’re more than short-term emergency food resources. While that is the case for some of our customers, for many others, we are a necessary part of everyday life. We want to leverage our relationships with these families to help them create pathways to an improved economic well being. We’ll do this through the lens of food and nutrition, and we’ll do this by leveraging the partnerships with other service providers that we’ve built over the years.
Imagine a visit by a new customer family to our new food bank once it’s open for business in 2016.
Coming into The Food Bank through our big front door on Roosevelt Way, this family will walk inside, and sit in a simple but comfortable indoor waiting area – no steps to negotiate and no waiting outdoors in bad weather. After a brief conversation with our front desk volunteer, this family will have a quick visit with a benefits outreach volunteer in a private counseling room. They’ll get information about any number of things like food stamp benefits, free summer meals for their kids, and a discounted cell phone plan.
Next, the family starts shopping through wide aisles and past a well-stocked produce area. The produce area is full of fresh fruit and vegetables because we no longer need to turn away perishable donations for lack of space, and because we’re growing our own vegetables in our new 3,000 square foot rooftop garden.
While shopping, the family samples a sweet potato, kale and peanut butter soup made by a nutritionist and offered right next to the veggie display. Because the kids really like it, they take home a recipe card and the ingredients for the soup. Plus, they sign-up for a drop-in cooking class for later that week at The Food Bank to learn how to cook other simple, healthy meals that can be made in bulk and provide tasty leftovers.
The shopping trip is stress-free and doesn’t take long because they have plenty of elbow-room to get around and easy access to the shelves. Leaving The Food Bank, this family gets their groceries bagged up and wave good-bye to the volunteers. On their way out, they see the library next door, remember they have books on hold there, and duck in to grab them.
This vision of how we can work is a compelling one. Many in our community agree.
Finished this story? Read other Capital Campaign newsletter articles.