A new $3.1 million Idaho Foodbank will open in Lewiston, next door to a Rosauers Supermarket, near banks and two blocks from the Boys & Girls Club.
The 18,000-square-foot structure will replace the food bank’s existing home in a 6,900-square-foot former meat packing plant at the eastern fringe of Lewiston among a livestock market, a composting facility and a paper mill.
“We will be in a well-traveled area, in a big commercial retail area where a city bus line runs right in front of us,” said an elated Cari Miller, the Foodbank’s Lewiston branch manager.
The new building will include a teaching kitchen for the Cooking Matters program that now is now offered at various locations off-site. The new building will also have a volunteer center, and a separate room for volunteers and community engagement.
“It’s not just a warehouse, like we are now,” Miller said. “We can get the community more engaged.”
The Idaho Foodbank is primarily known for food distribution, but the new building will allow more prominence for the organization’s education aspect, Miller said.
The Idaho Foodbank provides free food assistance from warehouses in Boise, Lewiston and Pocatello. The Lewiston branch distributes 1.5 million pounds of food a year in north-central Idaho between Riggins and Potlatch. The Lewiston center will be able to distribute 2.6 million pounds from the new building.
The Lewiston branch is drawing from savings to get the construction started in November, and Miller plans a fundraising campaign to reimburse the savings account. The new building should be complete in spring. Steed Construction of Boise is the general contractor. Chad Slichter of Slichter Architects of Boise was the project architect.