Welcome! Thank you for your interest in Clark County Food Bank, take this opportunity to learn more about us and what we stand for.
Our mission is to “Alleviate Hunger and Its Root Causes.” This two-part mission statement includes both the providing of emergency food to hungry individuals and families, and also the preventive element of doing everything we can to help people not be in a long-term place of needing food assistance.
While hunger often goes unseen, it is quietly eroding the strength and stability of our community and robbing dignity from adults, productive futures from our children and health from all. Individuals and families who once turned to food pantries for “emergency” relief, are now relying on the food bank network throughout the year. As a grower, gleaner, and supplier of food to local hunger relief organizations, Clark County Food Bank is a critical link between food and our neighbors in need.
Our commitment is to help our emergency food partners feed families and individuals each day. Working to help remedy the problem of hunger for the long-term health of our community, we are also fighting hunger at its roots by teaching low-income families how to plan for and prepare nutritional meals from the food products available from emergency food organizations throughout the county. Additionally, our farm and gardening initiatives assist people in becoming food more self-reliant for their food needs where appropriate.
In 1985 the Clark County Food Bank (CCFB) became the primary, countywide nonprofit food distribution organization as the successor 501(c) (3) organization of the Clark County Food Bank Coalition. CCFB is a member of the Oregon Food Bank network and provides bulk food to 29 emergency food pantries and meal sites. They, in turn, distribute food to hungry and food insecure individuals, families and children of diverse cultural and ethnic backgrounds at or below 185 percent of federal poverty guidelines.
Bulk food products are sourced from the USDA Emergency Food Assistance Program, Washington State Emergency Food Assistance Program, Northwest Harvest, Northwest Harvest South, Oregon Food Bank, and CCFB’s Fresh Alliance partnership with area supermarkets. This is supplemented by annual Clark County food drives, including Walk & Knock and Postal Carriers, local donations and our 10-acre Gardens for the Community Program.
Our Warehouse and Training Facility
CCFB originally provided services from an 8,000 sq. ft. “Stop Hunger Warehouse”, a leased facility staffed and managed through a contract with The Salvation Army (TSA), with oversight by CCFB’s Board of Directors. Over time the need for services increased substantially which demanded a parallel increase in our inventory of food products for distribution to the hungry and food insecure. Due to limited warehouse space and temperature control capacity, CCFB was forced to decline larger quantities of available food products through its Fresh Alliance program and other sources.
With the prolonged recession and escalating need for services, it soon became evident that the future work of CCFB demanded a distribution warehouse facility that could more efficiently and adequately address the ever-growing need. In the fall of 2008, CCFB’s board of directors embarked on a strategic planning process to build consensus for a larger and more efficient distribution warehouse.
A successful $4.8 million capital campaign was launched in 2009, resulting in the purchase of land and construction of a 22,000 sq. ft. facility. CCFB took occupancy in January 2012. We now have a drive-in, forklift-accessible freezer and cooler, temperature-controlled and efficient repack center, larger and more loading docks, essential office space, a fully-equipped kitchen and classroom for our new Nutrition Education Learning Program, and a community meeting room available for nonprofit partners.
In Fiscal Year 2012, we distributed over 3.9 million pounds of food products, resulting in over 121,055 emergency food boxes for distribution by partner agencies to their clients. Approximately 39% of those helped were children. Food picked up weekly by our partner agencies for distribution includes commercially packaged shelf stable items, fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh, refrigerated and frozen items from our Fresh Alliance program, and bulk food from various sources repacked on-site by our many volunteers.
When we opened our new doors we also opened up new opportunities to carry out the full intent of our mission. We now have space to hire more staff, grow our vital volunteer base, launch new programs and expand existing ones to actively address the root causes of our mission. Our first executive director joined us in March 2012, our Nutrition Education Learning Kitchen program is inspiring confidence and self-sufficiency in our clients, and our Fresh Alliance Program and Gardens for the Community, coupled with food grown on dedicated farm land, continue to expand. Since hiring our Executive Director we have also been able to hire a Program Coordinator to build out our nutrition education and volunteer programs, as well as a Development Director to help in the area of fundraising.
We are now well positioned to continue to make a positive difference in the lives of the hungry and food insecure in Clark County for the long term. This is possible through an active and committed board and the ongoing generosity of community philanthropists, local businesses, individuals and grants, combined with collaborative partnerships, community volunteers, public education and advocacy.