In the community, Local government

Coalition slates open house to brief community on proposed community food center

ONTARIO – The Western Treasure Valley Food System Partnership is sponsoring an open house to brief local residents on a community food center planned for north Ontario.

The open house runs from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesday, March 13, at Four Rivers Cultural Center in Ontario.

The focus of the open house is an ambitious plan to build a 15,000-square-foot building next to River Bend Place on Fortner Street in Ontario.

The building will serve as the new home for the Oregon Food Bank-Southwest Oregon Services but also furnish services from a variety of social and health organizations in Idaho and Oregon.

Lindsay Grosvenor, strategic partnership program manager for the Oregon Food Bank, said the building will contain the food bank warehouse and services for individuals who seek to enroll in SNAP benefits, apply for Medicaid or get a hot meal.
She said there are also plans for a food pantry and a kitchen.

“It will be a place for partners to come together and connect with clients to connect to resources, really bringing everyone together around food,” said Grosvenor.

“We’ve been working with an architect who has provided some preliminary sketches to give a visual or a first glance at kind of what we are envisioning,” said Grosvenor.

The Oregon Food Bank holds $3.6 million in federal grants for the project but needs at least another $5 million, said Grosvenor.

“We have not quite 50% of what we need,” said Grosvenor.

She said the food system partnership is in the “strategic fundraising phase.”
“We are seeking funds from state and federal sources and non-profit foundations,” said Grosvenor.

Grosvenor said the purpose of the open house is not to ask for donations.

“We will be rolling out a more public, individual fundraising campaign down the road. So, when people show up we are not asking them to bring money,” said Grosvenor.

News tip? Contact reporter Pat Caldwell at [email protected]

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