Lopez Food Share gets new wheels

Submitted by the Lopez Island Family Resource Center.

Earlier this year, the Lopez Island Family Resource Center was awarded a food assistance supplemental capacity grant by the Washington State Department of Agriculture.

The $109,000 grant provides restricted funds towards infrastructure support for local food banks. Lopez Food Share has used these funds to purchase a fully electric, insulated van, a new dry-goods storage pod, and a commercial refrigerator. The electric van arrived in early July and will be indispensable for transporting food and supplies from our off-island suppliers as well as making deliveries around Lopez to community members.

We are exceedingly grateful to our community volunteers who have used their personal vehicles to transport bulk food purchases from off-island. These pick-ups have been limited by vehicle capacity. An insulated van allows us to save money by procuring larger food orders and transport them safely. And its green system is good for our environment!

The evolution of Lopez Food Share has been a bright beacon of hope in an otherwise daunting pandemic year. We are deeply thankful for our generous donors and volunteers who’ve made this program possible. Special thanks to the fabulous food community, local farmers, and Food Share recipients who have helped shape this invaluable community resource, which provides nutritious food to more than 450 Lopezians each week.

You might be wondering, what is the future of the Food Share for Lopez? In the spring of 2020, when the pandemic arrived on Lopez, the LIFRC’s Lopez Fresh and the Grace Church Food Bank combined to serve our community with love and care. In the fall of 2020, we renamed our shared effort the Lopez Food Share, which was housed at the McCabe Building in town until December 2020. Currently, the program is operating at the storage units on Dill Road, next to Taproot Kitchen.

We distribute food on Tuesday afternoons from noon to 3 p.m. The aim of Lopez Food Share is to ensure that everyone has nutritious food, so we encourage community members to sign up. You can email Katherine Ingman, Food Programs Manager, at katherine@lifrc.org, or call the main office at 360-468-4117 for more information. Feel free to come on down to the Food Share on a Tuesday and see the action for yourself. We are gratified to have a fully functioning and robust food share program on Lopez. Many hands have made this a reality, and we intend to continue the work of the Food Share for many years to come.

Interested in volunteering or donating? We take unopened and unexpired food donations. Check our website for a list of needed food donations. A few examples are as follows: snacks for kids, alternative milks, cooking oils, hygiene items, instant meals, and juices. We’re so thankful to the Lopez community for ongoing support and encouragement. Together, we are taking care of neighbors and nourishing the community.