With the construction of its new home in northwest Seattle underway, Ballard Food Bank is seeking community donations to raise the remaining funds for the project. 

According to a press release, the nonprofit wants to raise $1.7 million through its Hope Beyond Hunger campaign during the next several months. 

 “The past year has shown that we absolutely need a bigger, better Ballard Food Bank,” Ballard Food Bank Executive Director Jennifer Muzia said in the press release. “We have faced so many challenges during the pandemic: responding to ballooning needs, transforming our operations, and keeping our clients, staff and volunteers safe. But our community has repeatedly come together to make our work possible. We are confident that community will come together again to get us over the finish line for our new home.” 

Over the past year, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the urgency for a larger, updated food bank and community resource hub. In February of 2020, 3,200 people visited the food bank or received food deliveries. In February of 2021, that number has doubled to more than 6,400, including many people who had never needed food assistance before.  

“For decades, Ballard Food Bank has been providing food and services for people in our community,” said Ballard Food Bank Board Member and Hope Beyond Hunger Chair Julia Weisenburger in the press release. “Now we are thrilled that everyone can contribute to its next evolution: a fantastic new food bank and resource hub. Together, we can all bring food and hope to our neighbors in need.”   

The new building, 1400 N.W. Leary Way, will allow Ballard Food Bank to support more people and offer increased resources to residents experiencing poverty. The expanded operation will serve a larger area, including Licton Springs through Bitter Lake and up to 145th Street. According to the press release, the food bank will provide greater access to food and services to these communities, several of which have pressing needs. With the support of foundations, state and city government, and Seattle-based businesses, the nonprofit has raised $12.2 million so far, which is 88 percent of the total fundraising goal.  

“We are hopeful others will join the Gates Foundation and the many other donors — both foundations and individuals — in what we believe is as a vital investment in the strength of our community,” said Amy Carter, director of Community Engagement at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. “Ballard Food Bank’s new home will be a phenomenal facility serving the Ballard and surrounding communities for decades to come.” 

Ballard Food Bank expects to welcome people through the doors of the new building this fall. At 11,000 square feet, the new facility will be double the size of the current operation and include a bigger grocery-store style food bank, an expanded community resource hub, a community garden, more storage for the Weekend Food for Kids and Home Delivery programs, a café where visitors can share food and community and signage in four languages. Conceptualized during a pandemic, the building will also feature enhanced public health and safety elements. 

Community members and businesses interested in giving to the Hope Beyond Hunger campaign can learn more about the project and make a contribution at www.ballardfoodbank.org/ournewhome.  

Ballard Food Bank serves people in numerous communities, including Ballard, Magnolia, Queen Anne, Fremont, Phinney Ridge, Green Lake, Westlake and parts of South Lake Union.