The Auburn Food Bank is short on funds in order to move into its new building, the onetime Sports Page Tavern at 2802 Auburn Way North.
“We are short of funds, and we have to pay the contractor before we can get in,” said Auburn Food Bank Director Debbie Christian. “We need about $800,000 more.”
Among the items that unexpectedly added to the cost was a fire system for the overnight shelter and earthwork, the latter constituting almost $100,000 by itself.
“Other businesses probably wouldn’t have to have the fire hydrant, but with people sleeping there overnight, they have to be protected,” Christian said.
The food bank has been at 920 8th Place Northeast in the Burndale Housing Complex in north Auburn for decades, but it’s relocating because it’s in a small space without room to grow.
Indeed, the food bank has been maxed out of capacity for many years, Christian said, and the move will give it about five times as much space, with the capacity to receive larger donations of food and added room to serve more people.
The projected cost of work from the contractor was $1.6 million, but as the food bank is short on the money,, it’s been busy on the fundraising side.
Plans show the total improved area in that part of the complex will constitute 14,631 square feet, divided between 6,899 square feet for the food bank at the south end (where the tavern was) and the newly combined resource center and night shelter, with 3,741 square feet and 3,991 square feet, respectively, on the other side of the food bank’s north wall, but accessible to it. The night shelter will accommodate 45 cots.The crisis has led to sharp questioning of the AFB’s decision making.
The Auburn Food Bank accepts donations. Learn more at www.theauburnfoodbank.org.