Selah Food Bank May Move Behind Grocery Outlet Store

Yakima Valley Business Times
March 2022
by Michael Samson

The Selah Food Bank may soon have a new home behind the Grocery Outlet store on Goodlander Road and North Park Drive [in Selah].

“The school district let (the food bank) know a couple years ago that they would like to get out of the food bank warehouse business,” said Bill Harris, who is a member of the organization’s board of directors, “so we’ve been looking for a permanent home.”

The first step was to reorganize as a recognized non-profit organization, which they did. Then, board members tied up the location for the new building. “We didn’t want to go public until we got our non-profit approved and our site up,” said Harris, who owns Bill Harris Used Cars in Selah.

Harris said that the food bank needs $750,000 to pay for the new building. About $450,000 has been raised so far, which includes $52,000 from the state. That capital budget request was made by Rep. Jeremie Dufault, who lives in Selah.

“Our goal is to have the shell of the building up this fall,” said Harris, “so this winter we can have our vendors and contractors come in and finish the building. We hope to be open in spring of 2023.”

He said the group also wants to start a program designed to feed underprivileged children in the Selah and Naches school districts.

“We hope to work with the Selah and Naches school districts in what you could call a backpack program, where we provide the school district with pre-packaged boxes of food, like a takeout box from a restaurant.

“We’d give those to the school counselors, and they’d distribute them during the week. The boxes would fit inside a backpack, so (the kids) wouldn’t have the guilt or shame issue about free food.

“And if they don’t have a backpack,” said Harris, “we’ll give them one.”

The current food bank distribution point – which is inside the Selah Civic Center at 216 S. 1st St. – provides food for about 150 families each month.

Harris said the new location, which is on a three-quarters of an acre lot, could double that number because of its centralized location and access to public transportation.

“We’re hoping that we can in the first year get to where we’re helping 250 to 300 people a month, not counting the school backpack program,” he said. “A future goal is to deliver a truck of food to the Naches area to a designated drop-off point we’re still working on, and they’d work on distributing it at that location.

“By having our warehouse and distribution center in the same location, we hope to be able to increase accessibility.”

Harris said the board also plans to expand the food bank’s days and hours of operation. It’s currently open Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 1:00am. “If you’re working a 9-to-5 job, it’s hard to visit the food bank now,” Harris said.

Donations to the project may be made through the group’s website,