Home Depot grant helps with food bank construction

By Linda Lindsay

After losing our longtime home in the old Rock Island Fire Station in June of 2015, the Rock Island Community Food Bank worked out of Rock Island Elementary School that summer and then in the fall we were able to move into a small donated building in Rock Island City Park. We immediately began brainstorming on how to get our volunteers and the people we serve out of the weather.

While making the rounds of local businesses asking for donations, my husband Walt and I approached Shannon Blevins of Wenatchee’s Home Depot. Shannon’s response was, “Let’s apply for a grant and just maybe get enough to build a building.”

Wow, a whole building? Yep… well let’s get started.

Rock Island Community Food Bank volunteer Gene Filbeck, in the foreground, and Lynne Russell, Home Depot volunteer, at work on the new addition to the food bank last October. (Provided photo)

On Sept. 13 of last year, we were awarded a Community Impact Grant from the Home Depot Foundation. Through the efforts of Team Depot — Home Depot’s associate-led volunteer force — and local volunteers, we have been able to build onto our little food bank and double the area to serve the people.

After being notified of the grant award in September, materials were delivered on Oct.11 and three Home Depot volunteers showed up the following day to help food bank volunteer staff members Gene Filbeck and my husband Walt start the building. Three more Home Depot volunteers arrived on Oct.13 and the work continued. On Nov. 14, we were able to open the breezeway between the two buildings and the people came through — finally out of the cold and what will be excruciating heat this summer!

We have a lot more work to do but thanks to the grace of God, the Home Depot Foundation, the Home Depot volunteer employees and the dedicated volunteers from the Rock Island Community Food Bank, we are now better able to serve the people of the community.

We want to especially thank Shannon Blevins, for her help in applying for the grant; Home Depot volunteers Julie Frey, Jeff Sharp, Lynne Russell and John Mangus; Rock Island Community Food Bank volunteers Doug Batcheller and Ivan Slone; volunteer Scott White, for the electrical work; and the City of Rock Island for allowing us to lease the space where the food bank is located.

 

Linda Lindsay is secretary/treasurer of the Rock Island Community Food Bank.