Music for a cause

Fundraiser set for Food Bank

Posted 8/21/19

Quilcene Food Bank is in need of a dedicated and independent facility to operate out of, something that will take at least $400,000 to accomplish, said Boardmember Deisy Bach.

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Music for a cause

Fundraiser set for Food Bank

Posted

Quilcene Food Bank is in need of a dedicated and independent facility to operate out of, something that will take at least $400,000 to accomplish, said Boardmember Deisy Bach.

To meet that goal by the end of 2019, the food bank has organized a concerted fundraising campaign that kicks off with a performance of Rhythm Ride Aug. 25 in Port Hadlock.

“We are very excited,” said Betty Prentice, QFB board member. “We have done concerts with this group for the past couple of years, and they are very well received.”

Dale Kelley, event organizer, said the kickoff is a great way to get the word out about the needs of the food bank.

“This will be a way, all at once, of raising the issue to people’s attention. If you can touch the heartstrings you will touch the purse strings. This is a great way to start.”

Rhythm Ride is a folk band based in Jefferson County that performs original songs.

“The food bank is having a really rough time and needs a bigger building,” said Jan Jacobson, a member of Rhythm Ride.

The concert includes songs that are easy and fun to listen to with lyrics that tell stories and people can relate to, Jacobson said.

“It is music that makes sense...It is for a great cause, and this is just the beginning.”

Room needed to grow

Currently, QFB shares space with Quilcene Community Center at 294952 Highway 101. That limits the services QFB can offer to just one day a week, Bach said.

With only one day a week to operate, and only a few hours at that, the volunteers have to move quickly to set up each time, said Margo Hamilton, a volunteer.

“We could use more space. The setup here, people come in at 8 a.m. to get ready by 11 a.m. We have to bring everything in from the back. It is a scramble.”

Another concern is the inability to offer a separate time for sensitive groups, Bach said.

“There are situations where there are groups that might not want to come in and commingle because of abuse issues. We could have a confidential time there and work with other social services.”

“We can’t do extended hours,” Bach said. “We can’t work with all the social services to provide ongoing services like providing a library for people who maybe wouldn’t go otherwise, or somebody from social services setting up at our location where they can speak and help the under-served in the community.”

The location also has limited parking, Bach said.

“That is an issue. If there is an event here on a Tuesday when we are bringing food in, it makes it very difficult for the people who are offloading the truck to prepare for Wednesday.”

Temperature control

Futher, nonperishable food is stored in a small office building not intended for that purpose, Bach said. Without appropriate ventilation, food can spoil.

The exterior walk-in refrigerator is also too small, and cannot be expanded further, Bach said. “We have a heating and cooling issue in the back, so sometimes we have food spoilage in the winter and summer. There is only so much food we can store.”

Sometimes the food bank has to turn down Lifeline food donations.

Each month, Lifeline, a regional group that organizes the flow of major donations from grocers and producers, provides an average of 8,500 pounds of food to the Quilcene Food Bank, said Mark Coleman, Food Lifeline senior marketing and media relations officer. This is the equivalent of 7,000 meals each month.

Shopping around

The board currently is searching for a new property, but there are challenges unique to Quilcene, Bach said.

“We haven’t decided on one yet because we are still trying to open up other opportunities. We are looking at all opportunities to get the biggest bang for our buck because we are a nonprofit. It takes a lot for us to raise money.”

QFB is unable to buy land, or even receive a vacant lot via donation because of limitations imposed by water and fire rights, Bach said.

“We have to have an existing building. Technically, there is only one building on the market right now that is commercial. However, we found several properties that have not been used for years so our president of the board is actively reaching out to the owners.”

Bach calculates the food bank needs to raise at least $150,000 by the end of the year to fund the planned move.

“We have reserves,” she said. “We are willing to tap into part of those reserves. We think we can take the rest from the reserve and then slowly build up the reserves again.”

Once a move is completed, QFB could store and offer more food and host social service counselors and additional events to aid the underprivileged in the community, Bach said.

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