The Copalis Community Church Food Bank has been in continuous operation since the early 1980’s and the families served has grown from several to more than 125. It is the place those up in the beach go to when times are tough; it is a port of safety during the storm in troubling times. Many people say this house was built on love.
Betsy Rothchford was helping her husband at his medical office and she saw a great need to help provide local people with food and clothing. Times were hard and Ms. Rotchford had a soft place in her heart for those in need. She took the opportunity to meet the community’s need and founded the Church Food Bank.
As the needs of the community have grown and changed, so have the food bank and the serviced they offer. It is open the first and third Wednesday of each month from 9am until 1pm. Each Wednesday they are open from 12:00 pm to 1:30pm for bread and produce distribution. Every Saturday, food is taken to those who are homeless and living on the streets of Aberdeen, and on the fourth Friday of every month, a meal is provided for the Gospel Mission in Aberdeen. This summer the food bank had their first Summer Feeding program and served an average of 17 children free lunches daily. They are looking to greatly expand that program next summer to other surrounding areas.
The food bank meets a need in the community; there is a high rate of unemployment, and families need help with food. People are thankful there is a place to go for help, and when things get better for them; those clients give back to the food bank to help someone else. People from the community are involved at the food bank in many ways. There is the interaction of food distribution, clothing distribution, summer feeding programs and community appreciation days. There are also the people who get involved by giving regular donations of both money and goods.
The most noticeable impact seen at the food bank is the overwhelming appreciation the clients have for the services offered to them. It is not just food dispensed but a warm and friendly outreach to those in need. They offer help with housing, transportation, child care and have people available for religious counseling if requested. They also help to get school supplies for the children in the fall, and they assist in getting parents involved with organizations to provide Christmas presents for the children. The food bank volunteers are non-judgmental and make the experience of coming to the food bank less stressful and more of a personal shopping experience.