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Food bank readying bigger, modern facility
MARYSVILLE The fact may be an unfortunate one, but Marysville Food Bank officials say as the city continues to grow, so does the need for their services.
With that in mind, officials from the food bank, the Marysville Noon Rotary and the city gathered last week to break ground for a food bank facility behind the Church of St. Mary's on 88th Street.
"It's been a long time coming," said Mike Mulligan, president of the food bank board of directors.
Full-scale construction was set to start this week on the new $850,000 building. Mulligan said he expected work to take about six months.
Covering 5,700-square-feet, the new building will replace the current facility near the Marysville Family YMCA on 60th Drive NE. The first stand-alone home for the food bank, that 3,400-square-foot building has served since 1997, built with help of a federal grant.
The food bank leases the space from the YMCA for a $1 a year, but that facility would now like to make use of the building for its own programs. In any case, Mulligan and others said the food bank simply has outgrown the current location.
Besides offering more space, food bank Director Joyce Zeigen said the new building would be a bit more customer friendly. She wants to organize foodstuffs in a manner somewhat similar to a retail operation, giving food bank clientele a greater choice in what they take with them.
"I'm really excited about the new aesthetic," Zeigen said, adding visitors should have a choice if they want green beans or peas.
Zeigen also talked about adding shopping carts and obtaining a new freezer. She would like to do away with the plastic bags now used by the food bank in favor of reusable bags.
The construction project got a big financial push with a recent $100,000 donation from the Marysville Noon Rotary. Mulligan added YMCA Executive Director Wendy Bart was essential in obtaining federal grants to help with building costs. But both Mulligan and Zeigen said more fundraising will be necessary.
"We really need the support from the Marysville community," Zeigen said.
She added the food bank's recent Gail Jubie Memorial Garage Sale fell far short of its usual contribution to the food bank's coffers. In the past, the sale has been one of the food bank's key fund raising events. Zeigen said she and the food bank board are working on writing more grant proposals as well as on future public fundraisers.
While Zeigen talked about St. Mary's giving the food bank a more centralized location, in a way, when they move to the church grounds, the food bank will have come full circle. Zeigen's predecessor JoAnn Mulligan essentially launched the food bank from the church's basement in 1977.
According to figures supplied by Mulligan shortly after her retirement earlier this year, the food bank distributed some 350,000 meals equaling 440,000 pounds, or 220 tons, of food in 2007. Those meals went to 11,988 households containing approximately 39,000 individuals.
Last week, Zeigen said the food bank helped more than 1,000 families in April.