In 2017, the Lacey Food Bank was designated by the Lacey City Council, the North Thurston School District Board and the Lacey Chamber of Commerce as the first “Compassionate Community Project.” In 2018, the community started taking the “Compassionate Community” mission to heart. Students, teachers, community members, businesses and other stakeholders have all helped us to start making the Lacey Food Bank project happen. The ground-breaking event was held June 12, 2018 where above mentioned partners and Thurston County Food Bank all celebrated the kickoff of this Compassionate Community project. During the event, we received a check from the North Thurston Public Schools “Penny Drive.” The drive raised over $27,000 for the project. This was an amazing accomplishment for the students. We will put that to good use in the various areas of the project.
The community really embraced the Veteran’s Garden Site Development. Over 3 months, we had 8 work parties, with participation from approximately 100 volunteers, and support from businesses in the community. We were able to complete clean-up and construction of the Garden site. GRuB held a garden ribbon-cutting event on Veteran’s Day 2018. Plans are in place to plant the first garden crop in early 2019.
In 2018, we selected our general contractor for the Lacey Food Bank Project. Kaufman Construction and Development will be leading the construction effort for the project. We received Site Usage, and Construction permits from Thurston County and City of Lacey. The farm stand design has been completed and expect to start building in early 2019 Our hope is that each of us in the community can find ways to provide support and community service in a way that promotes education and community connections.
The Lacey Food Bank is a strategic objective of the Thurston County Food Bank and is reactive to an 11% increase in usage at the Food Bank’s Client Services Center located in downtown Olympia. Of those using our services, 27% identify as living in Lacey. Five North Thurston Schools have reported free/reduced participation rates in excess of the 50% benchmark. Lydia Hawk has a 67% participation rate followed by Pleasant Glade at 59% and Lacey Elementary at 56%. Currently the TCFB serves approximately 2000 military families and their dependents. By establishing a Food Bank in Lacey, the TCFB will help to address the needs of households that continue to struggle to meet their basic needs for food.