On Saturday, Oct. 12, the FISH Food Bank invites the community to stop by its Hood River site, located at 1130 Tucker Road, for an open house celebration from 1-3 p.m. The event continues the Food Bank’s outreach of gratitude for 50 years of community support for its mission to reduce food insecurity in the county.
The Columbia River Gorge Quilters’ Guild will also feature a display of their quilts on site, and cake and cider will be available to visitors. Kids will enjoy pumpkin-related activities too, so bring the whole family.
The open house offers a way to go “behind the scenes” at the food bank.
“People dropping off donations at the food bank sometimes sort of ‘peek’ into the store, but they don’t always have time for a tour,” said Marianne Durkan, FISH board president. “We want to give people a chance to see what happens after they make a donation.”
The open house will let people view the warehouse, produce packing area and general store, along with client service areas. At this time of the year, visitors will see plenty of fresh fruit donations from local growers, along with the last of backyard garden harvests.
Now in its 50th year of operation, FISH continues to play an important role in alleviating food insecurity for people throughout the county.
“We’ve served about 400 families a month this year,” said Becky Bugge, FISH treasurer.
Food donations arrive from businesses, organizations, and individuals throughout the county, providing more than 171,000 pounds of food and over 67,000 pounds of produce in 2018. FISH’s role as a partner agency with the Oregon Food Bank also provides an additional 20,000 pounds of food each month, a critical support for FISH’s outreach efforts.
Volunteers sort, organize, store, and distribute all that food to clients.
“About 150 volunteers a month help keep the Hood River site running” said Billie Stevens, long-time volunteer coordinator at FISH.
Another 35 volunteers help keep the shelves in Cascade Locks and Parkdale filled and assist clients. In all, more than 500 people volunteered time at one of the three FISH locations in the past year.
Visitors to the open house can learn more about the FISH mission and volunteer opportunities by talking with board members during their visit.