The Thurston County Food Bank’s mission is to eliminate hunger. They serve Olympia, Lacey, Tumwater and the surrounding areas.
Heritage Bank has been a partner with the Food Bank for many years because we both believe when neighbors help neighbors, the whole community benefits. That’s why when they came to us for support of their new food bank in Lacey, we didn’t hesitate at the opportunity.
While the Food Bank has 18 satellite locations that are operated in partnership with other community organizations, their only physical location is in downtown Olympia. When they saw an 11% increase in usage from the community—27% identified as living in Lacey— and approximately 2,000 military families and their dependents seeking services, they knew something had to be done.
So the decision by the Food Bank was made in 2017 with support of the Lacey City Council, North Thurston School District Board and Lacey Chamber of Commerce to build a brand new Food Bank facility in the Lacey area. The ground-breaking event was held on June 12, 2018.
Since then, the project has received support from students, teachers, community members, businesses and other stakeholders. During the event, North Thurston Public Schools presented a check for $27,094.12 which was raised during the schools’ “coin drive.” Heritage has also provided support through a commercial line of credit as well as committing $85,000 over the next three years.
The new facility will consist of three parts: the Farm Stand, the Pantry and the Victory Garden. The garden will be run by GRuB and will “offer opportunities for veterans, active duty service members and their families a place to grow strong roots in the community through continued service, peer-to-peer support and a deeper connection with the natural world.”
As stated, one of the main reasons for establishing a new location is due to population growth. The county estimates the population will grow by 100,000 new residents in the next 10 years. By choosing to build in Lacey, the Thurston County Food Bank can continue to help households that struggle daily to meet their basic needs for food.
Blake Lindskog, senior vice president, regional commercial lending manager at Heritage Bank, states, “The work the Food Bank does for our communities on a daily basis is monumental. They’re not just feeding hungry adults, children, seniors and families—they’re creating opportunity for a better, brighter future.”
The Thurston County Food Bank hopes to plant the first crop in early 2019. The property is estimated to be complete in late 2020.
The new Food Bank will be located at 7027 Martin Way East—a site accessible to public transportation—and will be open Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.