COEUR d'ALENE - Demand was rising for food.
The leaders of Lake City Community Church knew what to do.
"The Lake City area had a need and we responded in a way that's practical and proactive," said Rick Croyle.
The result is a grand opening for the Lake City Community Food Bank, which will be held Friday, Aug. 19.
The communitywide celebration that begins at 4 p.m. will include a ribbon-cutting, barbecue, music and open house.
The 2,500-square-foot facility at 6000 Ramsey Road was built to meet a growing population in the Coeur d'Alene region who need food and grocery relief.
Croyle, director of the food bank, has seen many members of the community step forward seeking short- and long-term food assistance.
"We currently provide food and grocery relief to about 560 families a month just in the Coeur d'Alene area, and we expect that to grow as more people become aware of this community resource," he said.
Beyond the benefits of the food bank, there is also a sense of dignity built into the way in which it operates and serves the community, Croyle said.
The Lake City Community Food Bank is designed to run much like a grocery store. Customers choose items from aisles of groceries or from fresh food coolers, and then they check-out - which means the food is weighed - and they're done.
Croyle said the food bank hopes that families will be better served by being able to choose the foods they need most.
The food bank works in cooperation with 2nd Harvest and the Community Action Partnership, which provides fresh foods such as produce, meat, cheese and eggs, and the community donates the balance of the food supply.
The 50 volunteers who serve at the food bank are all from the Coeur d'Alene area. They wanted a way to actively care for their community and neighbors, Croyle said.
Signature Northwest Homes, general contractor, who volunteered their time and talent to the cause.
Croyle hopes the community will get excited about serving Coeur d'Alene with this new resource, make friends and partnerships, and get involved.
"This is a very positive way for the community to respond to a need," he said. "We provide volunteer opportunities to those who wish to serve and an easy avenue for those who wish to donate food and supplies."
The Lake City Community Food Bank also houses the Lake City Backpack program for kids. Working in cooperation with local elementary schools the backpack program provides food for kids who may go hungry while away from school.
"The Backpack Program was created to identify the most at risk kids in our community and provide them with a dependable source of food for weekends and vacations," said Sheer Bullock, director of the program.
To serve or donate to the Lake City Community Food Bank, call Lake City Community Church or drop by the food bank, which will be open 10 to 4 Wednesdays.
Food donations are welcome, as well as baby formula, diapers, pet food and cleaning supplies.