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Food Bank raises money for new home

With the Church of St. Mary’s in the background, Travis Kay, kneeling, and Dan Meeks, both of Curbs Plus, begin the work of pouring sidewalks around what will be the new Marysville Food Bank. - TOM CORRIGAN The Marysville Globe
With the Church of St. Mary’s in the background, Travis Kay, kneeling, and Dan Meeks, both of Curbs Plus, begin the work of pouring sidewalks around what will be the new Marysville Food Bank.
— image credit: TOM CORRIGAN The Marysville Globe

MARYSVILLE Food Bank and city leaders gathered in early May to break ground on what will be the new home of the Marysville Food Bank behind the Church of St. Mary's on 88th Street NE.

Construction work began in earnest on the building the week following the groundbreaking and a concrete slab now marks the spot where food bank officials hope the new building will ready for occupation by the end of the year.

In the meantime, food bank Director Joyce Zeigen said the non-profit group needs to raise $200,000 to defer costs of the building.

"The food bank has grown into a much bigger entity than it originally started out to be," said Mike Mulligan, president of the food bank's board of directors. "We need this new building to continue to meet the needs of the Marysville community."

In the past, Zeigen and others estimated construction costs at $850,000. But Zeigen said the organization needs some additional dollars to help cover architectural fees, among other items, mainly equipment for inside the building.

Zeigen specifically mentioned items such as tables and a new freezer, the latter of which carries about a $20,000 price tag.

To hit their fundraising goal, Zeigen said she and other food bank leaders will be reaching out to local businesses, churches and community service groups. She also mentioned writing grant proposals and she already has, or intends, to contact the Tulalip Tribes for some possible assistance.

In the last week or so, the food bank also began distributing remittance envelopes at various businesses around Marysville.

"The main thing is, we don't want to dip into the general fund that we use to purchase food," Zeigen said, adding many people seem willing to donate to the food bank, but ask that those donations go into buying food.

"We're just really trying to get the word out that we can't continue to distribute food if we don't have a building," Zeigen said.

Covering 5,700-square-feet, the new structure 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 organization would now like to make use of the building for its own programs. In any case, in the past, Mulligan and others said the food bank simply has outgrown the current location.

Besides offering more space, Zeigen has said the new building will 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.

According to Zeigen, the food bank currently hands out about 35,000 pounds of food weekly. They help approximately 1,000 clients, who include the elderly and the working poor, Zeigen said. The group buys about 20 percent of the food distributed.

Zeigen said the food bank is under no pressure from the YMCA to vacate the building on 60th Drive. Still, both she and Mulligan talked about wanting to move into the new building shortly after the major holidays.

"This has been a very supportive community," Zeigen said. "I'm sure they will rise to the occasion here."

Donations can be sent to the Marysville Food Bank, PO Box 917, Marysville, 98270 or dropped off at any local Cascade Bank location.

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