We have been busy. Church council has approved $2000 to begin the initial feasibility study to house the FISH food bank. The Oregon Food Bank (OFB) staff have visited our church site and expressed the opinion that building a food bank here is feasible from their perspective.
Eleven members of ORLC and FISH have also been on their first joint ‘field trip’, visiting both St. Matthews Lutheran Church in Beaverton and the OFB eastside headquarters in Portland.
St. Matthews has operated a church pantry/food bank for over thirty years and are currently expanding their facilities. We met with several members of their team who shared with us their involvement in the operation of the food bank, as well as recent grant application, permitting and construction experiences.
We learned a lot, and made some new friends in the process. It was touching to see how gracious these people were to share their time and experience with us; to help us help our community in a meaningful way.
At the OFB we met with the director of operations and staff and toured the food bank (imagine a 98,000sq.ft. warehouse with an 8,800sq.ft. freezer inside!). We discussed various possibilities and realities of housing FISH on our church site, including funding and professional help, and possible interim improvements at their current site.
FISH will meet next month and consider allocating funds toward the initial feasibility study and we can then begin our search for the perfect feasibility study team. We also hope to make another ‘field trip’ next month as well, to continue our learning.
We will keep you posted.