NV food bank

The new Nooksack Valley Food Bank allows more open space for stations where food produce and products can be distributed to patrons. (Courtesy photo)

Food bank is a recipient of 2019 Tribune Readers Care Fund

EVERSON — The Nooksack Valley Food Bank is moving up, in a variety of ways.

The food bank, which is one of the recipients of this year’s Lynden Tribune Readers Care Fund, moved into its brand-new facility in November. The new place is located directly adjacent to the food bank’s previous one in Everson Presbyterian Church. It’s a 3,600-square-foot space entirely dedicated to the food bank, which spent 33 years operating out of the church basement.

“This is a big upgrade,” said Ted Lautenbach, who co-directs the food bank with his wife, Diane. “We came from three feet below the ground to three feet above the ground.”

Because the new building is in the 100-year flood plain, it had to be built 30 inches above the ground.

“If Everson floods, we should be dry,” Ted Lautenbach said.

This was part of the reason for the food bank’s move, he said. The church, which dates back to the 1870s, is sinking into the ground, and the food bank needs longevity if it hopes to continue serving the Nooksack Valley community.

In addition to its new above-ground status, the food bank is now better equipped to handle cold and frozen items. These include a walk-in cooler and a walk-in freezer, both from Everson’s own Whatcom Refrigeration.

“They were spendy, but they’re worth it,” Ted Lautenbach said.

The new food bank, which serves 180 families weekly, is completely community-funded, Ted Lautenbach said.

   “No tax dollars at all are put into it,” Ted Lautenbach said. “It’s a community project, and I think that is really a good thing for the Nooksack Valley community.”

The Nooksack Valley Food Bank’s distributions take place Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. The food bank is located at 204 N. Washington St.

The food bank also has a Sumas satellite branch, which is located in the library of the Sumas Community Senior Center located at 461 Second St. Sumas distributions are from noon to 2 p.m. Thursdays.

The food bank is hosting a dedication of its new space from 12:30 to 1 p.m. on Saturday, Jan. 11, with an open house scheduled from 1 to 3 p.m.

“We’re just going to have an open house so people can see what we’re enjoying,” Lautenbach said. “I hope the public is interested enough to come and see what we have.”