Food Bank Volunteers Enjoying Benefits Of New Building

The Richland County Food Bank is enjoying the space of its new home. The non-profit organization made the move from the Nutter Building to 517 East Main during November 2022.

"I love the building," Candy Markwald, Richland County Food Bank president, said. "It's awesome. We're very grateful."

Markwald explained the purchase of the building was made possible due to a generous donation from a family. Richland County also provided $100,000 for the purchase,

"The space we had in the Nutter Building was too confining," Markwald said. It was becoming difficult for volunteers to stack the shelves.

Food bank officials are thankful that the county allowed use of the Nutter Building for more than 12 years without charging rent or charging for utilities.

"That money went back into the bank to purchase groceries and plan for the future," Markwald said.

She said the move from the Nutter Building to the new location took only four hours thanks to the help of the city and Church of Latter Day Saints.

"We had it here on the shelves and were ready to serve," Markwald said of the quick turnaround.

Benefits of the new building include that people can be greeted at the front door, the food is at one level and there aren't any stairs.

Through the generosity of the community, the food bank was able to purchase $29,000 of groceries during the caseload sale at Reynolds Market. Help was received from the city, Boys Scouts and the Church of Latter Day Saints to load the 15 pallets of food.

Other community support has included the Builders Club bagging flour and Pella's youth group putting together health bags.

The food bank has been busy early this year as it served 106 adults in January and 104 adults during March. A total of 11,673 pounds was distributed during the first three months of 2024.

"We try to give our clients help from all the food groups," Markwald said.

She noted that the food bank was started many years ago by area churches and that the food bank still depends on the support of churches.

Volunteers for the food bank include Gloria Yockim, Larry Garman, Mike Gear, Carolyn Dykstra, Leann Pelvit, Vicky Parker and Duane Pust.

The food bank is open from 9-11 a.m. and starting at 1 p.m. on Mondays and Thursdays.


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