Ian Eccles, with Avista, presents grant money to Sharon Mobley, with the Othello Food Bank. Photo by Briana Alzola.
As the food bank continues to grow and help the people of Othello, some changes are needed to help it reach the maximum number of hungry locals. Last week, the food bank accepted a grant for $1,100 from the Avista Foundation to help create an entryway compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) standards, A wider door and easier-to-cross threshold will make sure everyone can get into the bank to pick up food for themselves or their families. It is enough of a challenge to get out in a wheelchair, Sharon Mobley, with the food bank, said. At the food bank, there have been some people who have trouble getting in and out of the entry now. Mobley applied for the grant earlier this year. The doorway will be put in by local man Franz Laska, with Laska Construction. The doorway should be completed soon. The food bank has been incredibly busy this year, Mobley said. Dec. 4, the food bank served 75 families in one day. They only served 80 families the week before. As the winter goes on, the need of local people just continues to grow, she said. The food bank is located at 949 E. Main St. They are open each Tuesday and Thursday between 1 and 3 p.m. They also distribute food to seniors the first Wednesday of the month between 11 a.m. and noon. The food bank will help out any family or individual in need within the 99344 postal code. Last year, the bank served 4,377 households, a total of 18,904 individuals. Of those served, 1,587 were seniors and 1,639 were between the ages of 0 and 2 years old. The food bank is always looking for donations. Some suggested donation items include canned tuna, canned chicken, creamy peanut butter, jam, jelly, canned beans, canned fruits in juice, canned corn, canned vegetables, instant breakfast, 100 percent juice in boxes, canned tomato products, cereal, ramen, powdered baby formula and baby cereal and baby food. Cash donations may also be sent in via mail to Othello Food Bank, PO Box 152, Othello. At the beginning of 2013, Mobley will take over as the vice chairman of the Othello Food Bank. She replaces long-time vicechair Bob Fuller, who is retiring from his post. Currently, Mobley is a food bank director and facilities manager.