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FISH is planning a 6,000 square foot addition to its current location at 804 Elmview Road that will provide more efficient space for the redistribution center, refrigeration and materials handling needs of the Food Bank.

“The vision for the new building is shared by health care providers and social services agencies as a hub for those in need and an asset to each partner who will use it to expand the outreach of their services,” said executive director Peggy Morache. “There will also be a renovation of the existing space to enlarge the Food Pantry and the client reception area to allow more space for an education center that will include a demonstration kitchen.”

These are some of the uses that are being planned for a shared services, one-stop-shop for Kittitas County residents needed resources and hope.

• FISH’s relocation is an opportunity for residents of the county to begin to realize the full potential of FISH’s programs. With proper space, FISH can increase the partnerships and provide space for one-on-one interaction with specific agencies. That means additional benefits for the poor and elderly among other of the most vulnerable residents of Kittitas County.

• FISH collaborating with Central Washington University to include student-friendly hours at the new pantry. Using student volunteers to staff during Wildcat hours and using the Nutrition Department students for more educational programs in the education facilities. Food insecurity and homelessness among college students is a national problem and CWU is ahead of the curve in addressing this crisis on their campus.

• Secure office space in the building that will be used by multiple social services agencies to give information, address lifestyle choices and other factors impeding progress to a fulfilling life. Whether the issue is a temporary crisis that has brought a client to FISH or a cycle of poverty that goes back generations, FISH can help connect clients with existing services in a much more substantial way.

• Meeting room and rooms with state-of-the-art conferencing and telecommunications for educational programs such as Financial Peace University, classes that help strengthen families and develop life skills.

• Space for shared offices and services to help lessen the financial burden for not-for-profit agencies. Currently, Habitat for Humanity is interested in sharing space and services with FISH.

This will open up several uses for this building. FISH will continue to have the Open Table Meal Service at a location in the city of Ellensburg, the two locations will work together to provide help, education and services for anyone in need.

Rodney Harwood: award-winning journalist and columnist. Lover of golf and the written word. I can be reached at


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