About Us

Our Vision

To change lives in the communities we serve by feeding the hungry today, and building a healthy, hunger-free tomorrow!

Founded by Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Selah – growing through community support

Since 1975, the Selah Food Bank has been providing food for people experiencing food insecurity residing with in the Selah & Naches School Districts, through a network of partner agencies by acquiring and distributing food.

Providing Food since 1975

Early Years: When Our Lady of Lourdes Parish was established in 1975 the church was in the old auto parts store next to where Tailgaters Restaurant is today. Each Advent the parish participated in the St Vincent DePaul Advent Food Collection by gathering food donations from parishioners every Sunday during the four weeks of Advent. The food collected went to St Vincent DePaul to be distributed through their program.
Read the Full History

Growth Spurs Need for New Facilities

Over the years, food distribution at the Civic Center has become problematic. Having our food supply at a different location requires transporting from one place to another and back on food bank days with our big yellow Selah Food Bank Truck. The school has indicated that they would like to use the designated building for other purposes. We’ve outgrown these generously provided community premises! Read about the Building Fund Campaign.

Board Members

Thank you to these dedicated community members for agreeing to serve on the Board!

Gena Franklin, Board Treasurer
Accountant
Gena Franklin Accounting Services

Bill Harris
Bill Harris Used Cars

Kevin Jorgensen
Retired
Michelsen Packaging Company

Sarah Judd
Retired Medical Technologist
Yakima Valley Memorial Hospital

Arnie Korynta
Retired
WSDOT Civil Engineer

Dave Smeback
Real Estate Broker
Clark Jennings & Associates

Lonnie Welsh
H & S Freight Agents Inc.

Jason Williams, Board Secretary
Lead Pastor
Harvest Community Church

Volunteer

We are always looking for volunteers to work at the Food Bank. We have a variety of positions, from early set up, to assisting clients on distribution days, to helping driving the donation truck, and more!  See the list of Volunteer Needs.

History of the Selah Food Bank

Started by Our Lady of Lourdes Church – growing through community support

Early Years

When Our Lady of Lourdes parish was established in 1975 the church was in the old auto parts store next to where Tailgaters Restaurant is today. Each Advent the parish participated in the St Vincent DePaul Advent Food Collection by gathering food donations from parishioners every Sunday during the four weeks of Advent. The food collected went to St Vincent DePaul to be distributed through their program.

In 1980, the new Lady of Lourdes church was completed on Fremont Avenue. Father Dick Queen, the pastor at the time, decided that he would like to keep the Advent food collected in Selah so it could be available to people who came to his door for help. He asked Ellen Overby to head up the project because she had had experience working with food banks as part of her job with DSHS. Thus was born the Our Lady of Lourdes Food Bank that was operated from the church’s foyer with the food stored in the attic. Volunteers manned the food bank from 9-11 AM each Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

Distribution Moves to the Selah Civic Center

When the USDA Commodity Distribution program, (Cheese Giveaway) began in 1980 or 1981, Ellen Overby suggested to Father Queen that it be brought to a Selah site. In order to do this, it was necessary to be an established food bank with a 501(C)3 status. Able to use the Diocese’s 501(C)3 number, Father Queen and Ellen completed the necessary paper work and the food bank became official. At the time, commodity distribution for Yakima was at the Central Washington State Fairgrounds with the Salvation Army in charge. The Salvation Army was approached to open a site in Selah, thus removing some of the pressure off the fairgrounds site. After some major opposition to the idea, permission was finally granted. The commodities were distributed out of the South Room of the Civic Center for several years manned by a Corp of faithful Volunteers who became known as the “Cheese Ladies”. Ellen’s husband, Richard Overby, employed by Hansen Fruit, was able to store the cheese in one of the cold rooms.

In 1985, the food bank outgrew the church attic and the Selah Civic Center Board allowed the food bank to use 1/2 of the small room already occupied by S.H.A.R.E.’s clothing bank. The name was changed to the Selah Food Bank. By this time, Richard took over the management of the food bank. Excess perishable food supplies were stored at Hansen Fruit. Richard would make a list of needed items and collect them from the warehouse two times a week for distribution on food bank days.

When he retired from Hansen Fruit, the food could no longer be stored at Hansen’s. Father Mike Ibach allowed him to store supplies in his garage at the Rectory. When Father Patnode came, he needed the garage space. Bill White went to the Selah City Council for help to store the extra stock of food that would not fit in our half of the room shared with the SHARES clothing program. Next thing we knew the Selah School District called Bill White and through the generosity of the Selah School District, the food bank was able to rent a 1,000 square foot empty portable classroom for storage for $100 per month, which we are still utilizing today.

Changeover in Volunteers

In 2002, Richard was diagnosed with cancer and had to undergo radiation treatments. Because of his health at the time, he was unable to continue running the food bank. After closing it for a week, Bill White stepped forward and took over the management. Richard recovered and remained active as the assistant manager for several more years before finally retiring.

Currently Dave and Tammy Ripperger are volunteering as assistant managers.

Food Donated by the Community

Eligible to receive FEMA and Washington State Emergency Food Assistance (EFAP), money is made available to purchase food. Food donations are received from EFAP monthly and Northwest Harvest donates food twice a month. The Post Office food drive in May, Operation Harvest food drive in October, and the Fall Peanut Butter drive through Pingrey Ford are other yearly major food drives which replenish the Selah Food Bank. Grocery Outlet and Wray’s donate weekly to the food bank as well as hold yearly food drives.

The three local schools in the Selah School district, the Selah Police Department, the Methodist and Lutheran churches and donations from local corporations such as Tree Top and Bill Harris Used Cars, help keep the food bank supplied. In addition, many small local businesses also hold food drives through the year.

Current Facility/Location Challenges

Over the years, food distribution at the Civic Center has become problematic. Having our food supply at a different location requires transporting from one place to another and back on food bank days with our big yellow Selah Food Bank Truck. The school has indicated that they would like to use the designated building for other purposes.

We’ve outgrown these generously provided community premises and have started a Building Campaign for a New Home for the Food Bank.

Establishment of the Selah Naches Food Bank

In mid-2021, working with Bill White, Bill Harris established a Board of Directors. In January 2022, we received approval of our 501(C)(3) tax-exempt status for the Selah Naches Food Bank.

Property off of Goodlander Road and North Park Drive in Selah has been purchased and fundraising has begun for the building construction.

Get Food from the Food Bank

Food distribution to community members is held on Mondays & Fridays from 9:00am – 11:00am at the Selah Civic Center.

Location
Eligibility