Deschutes County Commissioners granted $2.4 million in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds to the construction of NeighborImpact’s new food program warehouse.
Construction on the 10,000 square foot structure will start in the spring.
They will use the existing warehouse for emergency distribution once the new structure is built.
“Many families are struggling to make ends meet,” Commissioner Phil Chang said. “The food bank is a lifeline for those people, and we need to increase its capacity to fill a growing need, not only due to the COVID surge but also because of the general growth of the region and soaring housing costs.”
The project budget is $5 million, and NeighborImpact secured $1,050,000 on their own.
Other support came from a $125,000 matching grant from the Maybelle Clark MacDonald Fund, with individuals donating $130,000.
Representative Jack Zika (R-Redmond) also gave $800,000 from his discretionary pool of ARPA funds.
NeighborImpact plans to ask Jefferson and Crook counties for additional funding.
“I look forward to making a difference for the Food Program, and I believe that the $2.4 million award will be extremely beneficial for the community,” said Commissioner Patti Adair.
NeighborImpact’s Food Program began in 1985, and last year they distributed 4.6 million pounds of food through 55 partner agencies, providing 5.75 million meals to those with food insecurity in the area.
Recipients of the meals were 48% children, as well as many Veterans and seniors.
“This is an opportunity for us not just to take care of our neighbors in need but also to realize that many people who use the food bank are part of Central Oregon’s workforce,” Commissioner Chang said. “Supporting this project is an economic development strategy.
“Businesses’ workers need to be able to afford rent and food; having a viable food bank that helps workers get by supports businesses.”
NeighborImpact thanked all those who made the project possible, including all three Deschutes County Commissioners, Deschutes County Treasurer and NeighborImpact board member Greg Munn, Representative Jack Zika and the Maybelle Clark MacDonald Fund.