It’s almost moving time — again — for the South Clatsop Community Food Bank, and this time it will be for good.
At the sunset of a successful capital and operational budget campaign, the pantry plans to transition from its interim location in the former CRM building to its new home at 2041 N. Roosevelt Drive, north of the bus barn, in mid-November.
The organization will celebrate the completion of its new building, the move and the community that made it possible at a Thanks For Giving piano concert at 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, at the Seaside United Methodist Church, at 241 N. Holladay Drive. The concert is free, but a donation of food or funds for the pantry is suggested.
The concert is being putting on by local pianist Carey Buerk, a longtime Seaside resident. When he heard about the food pantry and its fundraising campaign, he wrote to food bank board member Mary Blake, letting her know why and how he wanted to contribute to the cause. Sharing his talent as a pianist was the way to go. Buerk has been playing the piano for more than 50 years.
“I think his music speaks volumes of where his heart is,” Blake said.
Although the event’s centerpiece will be Buerk, playing a repertoire of cover and classical songs, the Seaside Methodist Choir also will perform. Light refreshments will be served after the concert.
The food pantry is tantalizingly close to its fundraising goal through donations of funds and in-kind services from individuals, agencies and businesses, as well as grants. The recent Grateful Hearts Gathering brought in $1,200, and the Seaside Rotary Club raised more than $14,000 at its annual auction for the campaign.
The pantry also has submitted applications for two grants that will help the organization exceed its goal. One grant is for approximately $39,000 from the Oregon Community Foundation.
Another is a matching grant from the Meyer Memorial Trust. The organization accompanied its grant application with a commitment from a local couple to match the grant from the trust up to $40,000.
The success of the food pantry’s fundraising campaign, which was themed “Imagine a Community Without Hunger,” is a testament to the responsiveness and generosity of the communities in Seaside and the surrounding areas, as well as a growing awareness of the issues surrounding food and the programs and projects to deal with those issues, Blake said.
“This is a story that’s about success and really how unique our community is,” she said.
Besides constructing a building and establishing an operational budget, strengthening sustainable community relations was an important goal of the fundraising campaign. The pantry will continue to rely on the community to maintain the pantry in the future through donations, volunteerism and activities like food drives, Blake said.
To receive grant money, she added, the organization must continue exhibiting a high quality of professionalism in its operations and show that there is enough community support and engagement to make the project sustainable.
Because Seaside is a small community, people have the opportunity to greatly impact the conditions and circumstances of others, Blake said. The food pantry is trying to tackle food insecurity, which is a deep-rooted, risky and multifaceted social issue, through an innovative and broad approach. Charitable giving is not just for the wealthy; it can be done through a variety of methods, both big and small, tangible and intangible, she said.
For more information about the event or how to help the food pantry, contact Blake at 503-717-3810 or call the pantry at 503-738-9800.