The Bischoff FISH food bank in Key Center is moving.
Their lease expired and was not renewed. They distributed food out of the Key Peninsula Lutheran Church for eight years, and from the Key Center location across the street from the Key Center Library for one year. Their last day of operation at their present Key Center location will be March 27.
Starting on March 28, a semi-tractor with a specially modified trailer will park at the LDS Church located at 12521 134th Ave. KPN, near the Elgin-Clifton “Y”, and distribute food every Friday from 2 to 7 p.m., and every Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The trailer originally was a large moving van with a low floor. According to organizers, it’s now equipped with two refrigerators, two freezers, ramps, carts, electricity, computers and office space.
“The trailer is re-stocked every night,” said Beth Elliott, the full-time manager that oversees operations at the KP and other FISH food banks. “There is much less spoilage with the trailer; we can offer a better selection of dairy, eggs, meat and produce than we could before,” she said.
“The volunteers on the KP have been a tremendous asset,” Elliott said. “And we will continue to need and use their help, but the trailer is a more streamlined, and less labor-intensive, which will make the whole operation more efficient until we can find a permanent location.”
Elliott said they will dedicate the truck and trailer for use on the Key for a year or more, if necessary, whatever it takes to keep providing food for those in need on the Key Peninsula.
Operating hours also will be monitored and adjusted to meet the special needs of KP residents, she said.
“The property owner at our Key Center location is widening the driveway access, installing GFI outlets, and installing a firewall at the property line in order to meet code requirement so that we can stay,” said Kimberly Miller, the volunteer manager. “The landowner wants us to stay. FISH wants to save operating costs with the mobile food bank,” she said.
People who want to volunteer, or donate, or know of an available structure that can be used for a food bank on the Key Peninsula can call the Key Center food bank (until they move) at 858-7226, or Beth Elliott at (253) 383-3164.