A leading bank in the Chippewa Valley just donated to a leading charity to help make the area a better place.
Charter Bank donated a check for $125,000 to Feed My People Food Bank at the bank’s Eau Claire location Thursday afternoon to help benefit the nonprofit’s new campaign, Feeding Healthy Futures. The project has come to the forefront due to the rising need for food and services in the Chippewa Valley during recent years.
The building project would dwarf the size of the current 18,000-square foot facility Feed My People Feed Park currently operates out of. The new location would be approximately 45,000 square feet and would allow for a good number of drastic improvements for the charity.
If the Feeding Healthy Futures project comes to fruition it would triple the cooler space available, double the number of pallet spaces available, improve the warehouse flow, efficiency and safety, double the work area, building different structure to help community members expand programing and overall improve the overall efficiently of the location.
The total amount the project needs to come to fruition is $3 million, $2.4 million of which has already been raised through donors such as Mayo Clinic Health System, RCU Foundation and Rutledge Charities.
Charter Bank President and CEO Paul Kohler said the bank felt it was important to donate to the cause due to it striking so close to home.
“This is a problem right here in our home,” Kohler said. “It’s something we need to address. I’m glad that we have wonderful volunteers and staff at Feed My People to help combat this issue. The bank is just extremely pleased to be able to be one of the first businesses to step up and contribute. We want to lead the way in our community, we want to help our community be become a better place and we couldn’t be more excited to be behind this project.”
Feed My People Executive Director Emily Moore said if the new building comes to fruition it would help foster growth for Feed My People in the area.
“It’s predominantly space, but the space will create opportunities,” Moore said. “There will be significantly more space for volunteers, which creates new opportunities for programs. Often times we come up with great ideas about things that we might be able to do to reach people, but they get a little stymied because they are hard to manage within our current confines.”
Since the current Feed My People Food Bank location opened in 2009, the organization has seen a 113 percent growth in the number of people they’ve served as well as a 620 percent increase in the pounds of produce they’ve distributed. Moore said the expansion would help the organization become more efficient and help greatly increase the amount of food deprived individuals that require services like theirs.
Moore said she knew the project was a leap of faith, but early supporters have shown what a giving community the Chippewa Valley is.
“When we started talking about this project we knew these were big plans and it would take big hearts to make it happen,” Moore said. “Charter Bank and our other early supporters have really shown that. We are just incredibly grateful.”
To donate or learn more about the Feeding Healthy Futures building project campaign put on by the Feed My People Food Bank, you can visit their website at fmpfoodbank.org.