The North County Community Food Bank (NCCFB) received a $2,500 donation from Battle Ground Community United Methodist Church last week to help with operating costs and food supply. NCCFB Executive Director Liz Cerveny said the monetary donation “came as a surprise” to her and the staff at the food bank.

“We’ve been very blessed with the majority of the local churches and the North County area being strong supporters,” she said, mentioning that Battle Ground United Methodist Church has been a “longtime supporter” of the organization.

In previous years, Battle Ground United Methodist Church has put together food drives for the organization. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and gathering restrictions, the church decided to raise money for the organization instead.

Cerveny said she received an “unexpected” phone call from a member of the church asking if the bank could use the funds in lieu of the usual food donation. Cerveny said the call was a “blessing” to help the food bank during these unprecedented times.

Due to the pandemic, many aspects of the food supply chain have been strained with farmers and grocery stores alike feeling the impact of the virus. Cerveny explained how food banks at the regional level are feeling the strain as well, and many food staples such as macaroni and cheese, chili and other canned goods are harder to come by as the system strains. Cerveny said the donation of funds will be used to give the food bank more purchasing power to ensure it remains stocked for those who need it as well as allowing them to distribute more often.

“The North County Community Food Bank has been very blessed during this pandemic situation,” Cerveny said about the multiple donations the bank has received.

Cerveny said the food bank has seen an uptick in visits from the community as unemployment rises around the area.

“There’s so many people that have been impacted that have never before had to navigate the social services environment and we become their community resource,” she said. “We make sure we do what we can to lighten that load they’re experiencing.”

Since the pandemic began, the NCCFB has upped the availability of their curbside delivery system where clients in need of supplies can drive their car up and receive the items from a social distance. The bank is now offering the service twice a month, and funds from donations are helping keep the program more available to the community. According to Cerveny, the bank is currently not letting anyone inside the building, so curbside delivery is the only option many in the community have to supplies.

While the bank has received a couple of donations over the last several months, Cerveny said the bank is “always in need” of volunteers, food and funds to keep the system moving. Food donations are accepted on location at 17 NE Third Ave., Battle Ground, from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and those wishing to donate funds can do so at NCCfoodbank.org. Community members interested in volunteering for the food bank can call the front office at (360) 687-5007.

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