Increased Capacity Serves More in Time of Need


Strategy 2: Greater capacity — Serving More People

When Clark County Food Bank (CCFB) opened its new warehouse in 2011, organizers hoped they would be able to distribute significantly more food. Today, they play a leading role by helping smaller food banks in the area and as a key partner in Northwest Harvest’s hunger response network.

Northwest Harvest was able to give 957,000 pounds of food to CCFB last year, an increase of 34 percent, with a focus on produce. In turn, CCFB can now serve 30 agencies instead of its former 20.

“It’s really about more and better food going through the system,” said Allison Kirkland, CCFB spokesperson.

Clark County is one of 12 sub-distributors for Northwest Harvest, partner agencies that are able to handle large shipments of food, store it and distribute it to smaller food banks so that it reaches people even in far-flung, rural communities in 37 counties. A number of other sub-distributors—Thurston County Food Bank, Moses Lake Food Bank and Bellingham Food Bank­—are also adding warehouse space.

By collaborating and strategically supporting the right kind of growth where it’s most needed, Northwest Harvest and its partners provide a strong infrastructure able to meet the needs of Washington state’s emergency food system.

Anchored by a 94,000 sq. ft. distribution center in Kent, Northwest Harvest also distributes food from warehouses on the peninsula, in Yakima and in Spokane in order to serve more than 360 food banks, meal programs and schools that comprise our hunger response network. We recently doubled our warehouse in Yakima, a strategic location in the heart of Washington’s rich agricultural region. Additional space includes more cold storage and room for volunteers to repack truckloads of fresh produce into smaller containers suitable for food banks and, ultimately, families’ tables.

“Having extra space helps us serve more people,” said Bonnie Baker, Director of the Hunger Response Network. “It helps us provide the right kinds of food to people who need it.”

Baker points out that having extra refrigeration and frozen storage helps Northwest Harvest provide fresh fruits and vegetables, fulfilling our mission to provide nutritious food to hungry people.