Selah Naches Food Bank Serving Folks in its New Location

Yakima Valley Business Times
BY TAWNI MARTIN, Contributing Writer

The Board of the Selah Naches Food Bank thought the line from the Field of Dreams movie, “If you build it, they will come,” might apply to them, so they did.

Since opening their new building in December of 2023, the number of families served has increased each month, from 200 in January to 1,092 in March.

“Because of the food volume we’re doing — it’s so much bigger — multiple people are doing the jobs to get it done,” Bill Harris, Selah Naches Food Bank board member, said. “There’s no way we could do this without the new building.”

The town’s original food bank was established in 1975 by Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church. In 1985, it moved into a shared space at the Selah Civic Center and became known as the Selah Food Bank.

As clientele continued to grow, the need for more space increased, so an empty portable on the Selah School District grounds was rented for storage.

Harris said the Civic Center and extra space didn’t fit the bill because they were at different sites.

“It’s so hard to warehouse the food in one location, distribute it in another — and you’re touching the food several times,” Harris said.

In 2021, the food bank became a separate entity from the church. A year later, property was purchased at 810 N. Park Drive in Selah, a new building was constructed, a board of directors was established, 501(c)(3) status was achieved and a new name was given to the food bank.

“We wanted to extend up to the Naches area, so we named it the Selah Naches Food Bank,” Harris said.

Other primary areas served besides Selah and Naches are East Selah and Gleed.

Harris said the building was designed so people could shop with dignity, operating like a mini grocery store.

After being greeted with a smile, clients get a cart, shop the well-stocked aisles, get help with boxing and bagging and then are escorted out to their cars.

“We finish with, ‘Have a good day. We’ll see you next time!’” Harris said. “They say, ‘Man, this is great. We appreciate it so much.”’

Harris said funds for the new building were procured through grants, fund-raising and donations, but the food bank still needs to raise $175,000 to pay off its loans. He added that they are halfway through a three-year borrowed note.

Clients may receive food once a month. Identification is not required. However, addresses, numbers and household members’ ages will be asked for statistical purposes. People experiencing homelessness are also welcome.

The food bank is open for distribution three times a week: Monday and Friday from 9 a.m. to noon and Wednesday evenings from 5 to 7 p.m.

Operating out of the new building, the food bank can set its hours, unlike those it was restricted to when it was in the Civic Center.

“This increases our ability to do more outreach,” Harris said.

An example is the Tree Top Back Pack Program. With Tree Top as its title sponsor, the food bank provides Selah Schools with 140 bags of food. Each Friday designated students receive a bag to take home over the weekend.

Selah businesses, schools, churches and local growers have donated food for decades. The food bank also accepts monetary donations. Checks can be mailed in or submitted electronically on its website,

Additional Selah Naches Food Bank information can be found on Instagram and Facebook, including instructions on donating and volunteering. People are also encouraged to call Bill Harris at (509) 961-1588, who is available to talk about the food banks’ expanding venture.

“We are filling a void,” Harris said. “We just have to keep it going.”

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