The Vashon Food Bank is planning to move from its home atop Sunrise Ridge to the property owned by the Vashon United Methodist Church (VUMC), and they’re inviting you to a free community meal to learn more about it.
The food bank will host a free community meal and listening session this Thursday, Nov. 9 at the Methodist Church’s Sanctuary Building to present an update about its plans to relocate. The church is located at 17928 Vashon Hwy SW.
Food will be prepared by Gravy’s Dre Neeley.
Serving over 250 households per week — about 15% of the island’s population — with free groceries, the Vashon Food Bank is long overdue for an upgraded facility to better serve its clients, the food bank’s organizers say.
“As anyone who shops, volunteers, donates or works there knows, our current facilities on Sunrise Ridge (the Food Bank’s home for over 30 years) create barriers to access, safety and dignity,” the food bank members said in a press release.
After years of discussion, the food bank has executed a long-term lease with the VUMC and plans to build a new food bank and social services hub on the church property. The new location will be much closer to the town core.
The project will involve building a 3,800 square foot warehouse and grocery store, and purchasing the existing 3,500 square foot building and community space, currently known as the Education Building. They plan to have the new facility achieve LEED Silver certification (awarded for sustainable building) and reach high marks in accessibility.
For the past year, they’ve been working with architects from Seattle firm Graham Baba — which recently designed the new Ballard Food Bank — to achieve that vision, according to a press release.
“Our long-term vision for the future is to create a welcoming, inclusive and dignified community space where any and all Vashon Islanders can find nutritious food and access to supporting services that help them thrive,” according to a press release.
Thursday’s meal will include an update on design, the construction timeline and the food bank’s campaign process. The meal will be free to all thanks to a sponsorship from Puget Sound Energy, according to the food bank.
To reserve a seat (seating is limited to 100), go to vashonfoodbank.org. The food bank plans to host additional similar gatherings in the future.