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An organization that has helped many needs help | In Our Opinion
That’s the date the Kingston Food Bank could be without a home.
It’s ironic that an organization that for 61 years has helped homeless residents, and others, is on the verge of becoming homeless.
Windermere Real Estate saved the Kingston Food Bank from homelessness earlier this year, allowing it to temporarily occupy space rent-free at 26569 Lindvog Road since January. But there has been interest shown in the space, so the Kingston Food Bank must move out so Windermere can get it ready.
The Kingston Food Bank lost its previous location of 50 years, which it shared with a VFW post and a church, when the county, which owns the building, announced plans to demolish it.
Food bank director Barb Fulton, whose parents founded the food bank, said she’s run out of options and is considering running the food bank out of a motor home. Clearly, the community can help an organization that has done so much to support the community.
Here are some options. We’re sure there are more.
1. Allow the Kingston Food Bank to occupy a vacant portable at a school. In lieu of rent, the food bank could team with the school community to provide a learning experience for students, providing early job training and an opportunity for community service.
2. Service clubs could adopt the Kingston Food Bank and use it as a way to assist the community. Many organizations and schools already contribute money and goods to the food bank.
3. Allow the Kingston Food Bank to occupy the vacant Sheriff’s Office space at 26076 Illinois Ave. NE. The office is closed. In exchange for rent, the Food Bank could maintain the building, that way the county gets value and the food bank’s use of the site can’t be viewed as a free gift of public funds.
The Kingston Food Bank is an important part of the local safety net. While ShareNet Food Bank is larger and serves a broader base, the Kingston Food Bank is important because it meets the needs of an important demographic: Older residents, homeless residents, people who rely on foot or pedal power.
According to Fulton, the food bank serves approximately 150 people a week. Fulton said most clients are age 40 and older. Some are homeless, between the ages of 16-21. Of homeless teens, she estimates that five or six live outside, others stay with friends.
The Kingston Food Bank’s mission is “To supply food and basic necessities for our local families in Kingston that need our services. No child is to go hungry.”
A worthy cause indeed. Contact Fulton if you can help the Food Bank find a new, suitable location near downtown: Call 297-4861 or 297-7100, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.