Mobile food bank open Wednesday

Nonprofit is evaluating weekday evening demand

By Tom Vogt, Columbian science, military & history reporter

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A local nonprofit is continuing its once-a-month test of Wednesday evening food distributions.

The Lewis River Mobile Food Bank will be open from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Clark County Fire & Rescue station at 38615 N.E. 41st Ave. The distribution site is about three miles northeast of La Center, near Highland Lutheran Church.

The mobile food bank has been helping hungry people in north Clark County for almost three years, with Sunday afternoon distribution sessions in four locations.

Now the food bank is seeing if it can widen its clientele by expanding the schedule.

"It's a pilot program on Wednesdays to see if there are people we are not reaching, who can't come on Sundays," said Candice Howell, one of the organizers.

"As far as I know, no other food banks in Clark County are open during the evening," Howell said.

That can be an issue for some of the working poor who live in rural areas. By the time they can drive to a food bank after work, it's closed, Howell said.

"We decided to try a weeknight, to see if there were some people we could reach," Howell said.

The mobile food bank started the pilot program on Sept. 12; people from two households came by for groceries, she said.

"Neither were able to come on Sundays, and they were happy to see us there on Wednesday," she said.

The pilot program's final Wednesday distribution will be Nov. 14.

Then the food bank's board will decide whether to continue the Wednesday distributions, Howell said.

The normal monthly schedule, from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.:

• First Sunday: View Fire Station, 37604 N.E. 119th Avenue, La Center;

• Second Sunday: Fire District 2 station, 314 N.W. 389th St., La Center;

• Third Sunday: Yacolt Evangelical Free Church, 509 W. Cushman, Yacolt;

• Fourth Sunday: La Center Evangelical Free Church, 111 E. Fifth St., La Center.

People interested in helping can call the food bank's message line at 360-263-5763 or email howell_clz@yahoo.com.