PORT HADLOCK – The Tri-Area Food Bank has moved to a new venue at 760 Chimacum Road after roughly 15 years of fundraising efforts.
“The Jefferson County Food Bank Association has been slowly raising money for a new location,” said Rachel Boock, Tri-Area Food Bank manager.
After more than a decade of fundraising efforts and grant applications, the Jefferson County Food Bank Association, which manages four food banks in Jefferson County, finally had the $350,000 needed to buy a larger and permanent location for the Tri-Area Food Bank, according to Phil Flynn of the Jefferson County Food Bank Association.
The food bank opened at the new location Tuesday for deliveries and distributed food for the first time Wednesday.
It is scheduled to be open for donations Tuesdays from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. and for distributing food every Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Before it was moved, the food bank operated out of the basement of the Tri-Area Community Center next to Chimacum School.
“We were working out of a basement,” Boock said. “It was extremely limited space.”
The stairs used to get in and out of the basement location made pickups difficult for people with disabilities, and the location lacked sufficient storage space and the means for keeping refrigerated or frozen foods cold, she said.
The new location includes a warehouse, which will serve as dry food storage for all four food banks: Tri-Area, Port Townsend, Brinnon and Quilcene.
It also has a walk-in cooler; the food bank association is working on raising money for a walk-in freezer.
“We’re the only location without a freezer,” Boock said.
The new location also allows for a separate entrance and exit, which makes the distribution of food much easier, and has enough space for a waiting room so people don’t have to wait outside, she said.
“This location just allows more volume of people,” Boock said.
The Tri-Area Food Bank serves between 400 and 500 people, or an estimated 200 to 250 families, each week, according to Local 20/20.
The new location also comes with ample parking, which Boock said makes everything much easier.
At the last location, the food bank had to compete for the limited community center parking.
Boock said the location is closer to the town of Port Hadlock, which allows more access to people in need of food assistance.
“We have people who can walk here now,” Boock said.
More than 20 volunteers came out to help distribute food for the food bank’s soft opening of its new location.
“We actually had to turn volunteers away this morning,” Boock said.
Chimacum Farmstand, which regularly donates to the food bank, also brought in ice cream for the volunteers to celebrate the food bank’s new location.
Jefferson County Editor/