The Columbia Pacific Food Bank is gearing up to kick off their capital campaign this Saturday, Sept. 28, with an invite-only event to raise funds to outfit the inside of their future home at the Feed and Seed building. Their goal is to raise $400,000 in the next two years, which is how long it will take to complete the renovations.
On Tuesday morning, Sept. 24, Sen. Betsy Johnson helped the food bank get a jump start on their fundraising endeavors by purchasing a shopping spree at St. Helens Market Fresh.
According to food bank Development Director Meagan Fawcett, Johnson thought there was no better time than the present to initiate the local fund raiser in tandem with all the work they’ve currently got in progress.
Fawcett worked with Market Fresh manager Josh Poling to stage the top five items the food bank needs so that they would be readily accessible to throw into carts.
“There are certain items our clients need more than others that are in higher demand, and they’re more of a challenge to get from the Oregon Food Bank,” Fawcett said. “They’re more expensive, and certainly at a higher price point than we could get through this shopping spree.”
Poling went so far as to specifically order some of those items in advance of the spree. The items include: canned chili and soup, canned meats such as tuna fish and chicken, canned fruits and vegetables, and peanut butter.
“A lot of our clients don’t have a kitchen to cook out of. They might be living out of their car or couch surfing, so ready, pull-tab cans are really important because you can literally eat it out of the can if you need to,” Fawcett said.
Fawcett had tears in her eyes while she spoke of Johnson’s generosity, readily admitting since she took on the role as Development Director she gets emotional about the work she’s doing and the people she’s helping.
“Betsy is all in on this. She calls me sometimes three times a day to check in on where we’re at with our donors,” Fawcett said. “With our kickoff coming up on Saturday, it’s game time, and she’s really working with me to make contacts with business owners and potential local donors and that has been really moving – really quite amazing to see that she’s dedicating that much time to our cause.”
The one item the shopping spree didn’t get enough of was peanut butter. Citizens are asked to drop off some jars, if they are able to, at the food bank’s current building, located at 474 Milton Way in St. Helens.