BEND, Ore. - The holiday season is the busiest time for many local non-profits, as they try to provide for those in need. But for a Sisters non-profit, helping others is hard, because they're struggling themselves.
A crowded sorting room, rickety stairs and a collapsing ceiling are just some of the obstacles at the Kiwanis Food Bank in Sisters.
For more than 30 years, the club has helping hundreds of families, but now they're the ones reaching out for help. The dangerous conditions and limited space have made providing for those in need a difficult task.
"That little building out there is literally falling down around our ears," said food bank Coordinator Naomi Rowe while describing one of the food storage buildings.
The club does not want to let that happen, and has a plan they say will allow them to work to their full potential. The plan: Build a new facility, in the same location, about 3 1/2 times the size of their current space.
"What we're trying to do is make the new food bank all on one level," said Kiwanian and a former food bank coordinator, David Hiller. "With ergonomic shelves, conveyor belts, easy access, both for the clients receiving the donations, and for the food bank to process them."
The food bank has provided for 94 families so far this month, and they say with the new building, that number could increase.
"We have a great need in this community, as you have in Bend, and La Pine, and Redmond, and Madras, Prineville -- all the towns are really struggling right now," said Hiller. "We're just like that. What we're looking to do is be able to increase out capacity to serve those people."
The new facility is estimated to cost $114,000. The Kiwanis Club of Sisters has already committed to 20 percent of that, and they are hoping the rest comes from the community and grants.
If you would like to donate to the Kiwanis Club of Sisters in any way, you can send your tax-deductible donation to: Kiwanis Club of Sisters, P.O. Box 1296, Sisters, OR 97759.
Make sure to indicate if you would like your donation to go to the new food bank building, food donations or the Kiwanis Club's annual Christmas Food Share.