FISH Wrap: Food bank program meets its capital goal

Two years of fundraising paid off big time this week for local food banks.

Congratulations go to FISH for receiving a $75,000 grant from the Collins Foundation. Those funds put the organization just over its $988,000 goal for building a food bank and nutrition and education center on Tucker Road as early as this year.

The Collins money comes on the heels of the largest single contribution to the fund, a $125,000 Meyer Memorial Trust grant received in December.

The largest single local donation was a $50,000 grant also made in December.

This shows that support is both broad and local for this essential community service.

FISH board president Marianne Durkan reported “a very successful site visit” from the Collins representatives last week, who gave the organization high marks for its level of volunteerism and expansion of the program to four locations in the county. In addition to the main base on Pine Street in Hood River, FISH distributes food at sites in Odell, Parkdale and Cascade Locks. Those three locations will continue to operate after the new Hood River site is built.

The project can go out to bid soon, now that the capital funds are in hand, and groundbreaking could occur as early as this spring. The new location is on property donated by Our Redeemer Lutheran Church, next to its facility abutting Good News Gardening.

It’s fertile ground for the organization, and for continued community support of FISH, which plans to expand its scope to not just providing food to sustain the needy, but to serve as a locus for promoting nutrition, community partnerships, and wellness. The $988,000 capital goal is based on a construction estimate made nearly three years ago, and FISH could always use a little something more to continue its mission.

The board and volunteers of FISH deserve credit for a sustained message to the community that has led to achieving this milestone.

In this bleak time of year, it’s certainly good news.

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