Colville Food Bank was organized as a grass-roots operation in the late 1970's, becoming a designated non-profit corporation in 1983, and being renamed Volunteer Food & Resource Center.
Originally operated by an all volunteer staff, VFRC rented a house from the City of Colville for $1.00 a year. The current location was purchased in the early 1990's with the help of Catholic Charities, and from grants and community donations.
At the time, the Center served over 100 families in the Tri-County area, and mentored other food bank start-up operations.
Today, the Colville Food Bank serves an average of 1,108 individuals a month with supplemental food boxes, as well as aiding numerous others through The Salvation Army Voucher Program, and the Avista Cares Utility Assistance Program.
The Volunteer Food and Resource Center (VFRC), commonly known as the Colville Food Bank, is a 501(c)(3)non-profit corporation. VFRC is guided by a Board of Directors, and operated by an Executive Director, part-time assistants, and volunteers.
In 2015, the Colville Food Bank provided supplemental food boxes to over 5,200 households, totaling 13,295 individuals. This is an average of 1,108 persons per month. Of those, 280 families, with 646 individuals, were new to the food bank rosters.
According to the US Census Bureau, Colville's population count in 2013 was 4,668. The numbers indicate that nearly ONE QUARTER of the population (23.7%) in Colville utilized the food bank each month in 2015.
We specifically saw a dramatic increase (over 50% from 2014) in the need for special diet foods, such as: low sodium, sugar free, gluten free, organic, and vegetarian. We also saw a dramatic increase in the number of homeless families served: 174 families, comprising 216 individuals. That is a nearly 40% increase from the year before. We distributed over 313,000 pounds of food in 2015!
VFRC is an active member of the NE Washington Hunger Coalition, an organization partnered with the Providence Medical System and other food banks and help organizations, to address the issues of hunger and nutrition-related illness in the Tri-County area.
VFRC is also a partner with the Faith-Based Community Resources, a Christian based group of local church leaders and others dedicated to assisting local residents with emergency needs.
Along with providing a healthy food box monthly, VFRC staff and volunteers provide:
-Referrals for household emergencies
-Administer The Salvation Army voucher program
-Administer the Avista Cares-Utility Assistance Program
-Enroll 8-12 year old children in the Camp Gifford Summer Camp
-Coordinate the Tree of Sharing Program
-Provide job training for youth and volunteers