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News / Clark County News

$1 million donation gives Clark County Food Bank’s Vision Center a big boost

Craig and Linn Dee Stein's donation is the largest in the nonprofit's history

By Chrissy Booker, Columbian staff writer
Published: September 25, 2023, 2:17pm

The Clark County Food Bank has received a $1 million donation from Craig and Linn Dee Stein to help build a warehouse and community center at its ongoing project known as the Vision Center.

The Clark County Food Bank Vision Center began construction last November and will allow the food bank to process more donations and create access to cultural and dietary-specific food for Clark County residents. The 13,000-square-foot project will be able to distribute 27,000 pounds of food a month and will also provide nutrition and cooking classes, health care services and free lunch. This donation is the largest in Clark County Food Bank’s history.

The community center will be a space for mutual collaboration where members can work to address the root causes of hunger in Southwest Washington, according to a press release. The Steins’ donation gave the food bank the final push to complete the project – it is expected to open early 2024.

“Craig Stein is a visionary, as a businessman and a philanthropist, and we are grateful for his generous support of the food bank’s Vision Center and the community space that will bear his name,” said food bank President Alan Hamilton.

Stein started Craig Stein Beverage in 1990 in Vancouver and the company now employs 1,200 employees across five states. It distributes beer, wine, spirits, non-alcoholic beverages and snacks to the Northwest and Intermountain areas.

“Clark County Food Bank’s current facility was built in 2012, but more space was needed due to population growth, economic, and social factors.

Director of Development Christina Stewart says the community center will allow for the food bank to connect with members of the community who often experience sensitive or private situations.

“There’s no room in a fast-moving line to connect with people,” said Stewart. “Our goal with this community center is to get to know people better and identify their needs and the root cause of hunger in Clark County.”

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This story was made possible by Community Funded Journalism, a project from The Columbian and the Local Media Foundation. Top donors include the Ed and Dollie Lynch Fund, Patricia, David and Jacob Nierenberg, Connie and Lee Kearney, Steve and Jan Oliva, The Cowlitz Tribal Foundation and the Mason E. Nolan Charitable Fund. The Columbian controls all content. For more information, visit columbian.com/cfj.