The Dalles food bank opens in larger facility

The Columbia Gorge Food Bank provides for 16 food banks and hundreds of families a month across Wasco, Hood River, and Sherman counties.
Published: Jun. 7, 2023 at 9:12 PM PDT
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THE DALLES, Ore. (KPTV) -The Columbia Gorge Food Bank provides for 16 food banks and hundreds of families a month across Wasco, Hood River, and Sherman counties.

As the need grew in the community, they expanded into a larger facility in January and have since been making use of the additional space.

“Our old warehouse was about 2,000 square feet. We’re now in a little over 12,000 square feet,” said Breen Goodwin, the Columbia Gorge Food Bank Transitional Executive Director. “Some of the biggest improvements are our cooler and freezer space and the loading dock. Our cooler space is about 1,300 square feet. Our freezer space is over 600 square feet. Our official loading dock is going to really allow us to say yes more often to products not only from our immense growing region and abundant growing region we have in the Gorge, but also from folks moving through 84 who may have other donation opportunities for us and our community.”

Goodwin says the larger space for the food bank has been important for several reasons.

“We are really working to move towards fresh product, not just canned and boxed goods,” said Goodwin. “So by having a larger cooler and freezer it means we can actually provide more produce, more dairy, more meat for our community. It will also allow us to be able to have a different type of storage capacity in the event of emergencies.”

As cherry season is right around the corner, Goodwin says they are partnering with RAMAS, an organization that supports migrant workers and their families in Wasco county.

“One of the ways we are able to support that work is to put together boxes to provide those families that initial source of food and nutrition right before the harvest starts,” said Goodwin. “It’s a good partnership with the larger community, the orchardists, and the families that are coming in.”

“The opening of this warehouse is really just the first step,” said Goodwin. “The community can hopefully expect a more reliable source of food movement, a partner in food sourcing and distribution, and support the community in a more robust way. We can also be a part of that larger food bank network. We can be a hub for moving food into our community and also be a hub for moving food into the larger Oregon regional food bank network. So it really is going to be more of a bidirectional warehouse than we’ve ever been able to have before. It’s exciting to know we have the tool to build the programming and resources around. Now we get to dig in and get to work on how to can best leverage the space.”

FOX 12 is partnering with Fred Meyer for the FOX 12 Hunger Free Project to help benefit those in need in our community, and highlight the Oregon Food Bank and its partners as they combat food insecurity across the state. The next time you check out at your local Fred Meyer store, round up your purchase to the nearest dollar. Your contribution will help make a difference in the fight to end hunger in our community.

Learn more about the FOX 12 Hunger Free Project here.