Creswell Food pantry manager Susan Blachnik, center, receives a $2,500 grant from Pacific Power Corporation Regional Business Manager Sam Carter, and Kurt Blachnik, president of Community Food for Creswell. PHOTO PROVIDED/MARTHA MCREYNOLDS JR.
Community Food for Creswell (CFC) is in the middle of a fundraising project to install a community-use commercial kitchen in the Cobalt Activity Center. The kitchen will serve three main services to the Creswell community, include three weekly community meals; rentable certified kitchen for start-up businesses; a location for farmers to produce value-added foods; as well as cooking and food preservation classes.
But it is the partnership between community members, local businesses and the CFC that will provide food to the hungry and help build the local economy, Susan Blachnik, food pantry manager said.
One of those helpers is Oregon Food Bank (OFB), which has offered an opportunity for CFC to double local donations toward Creswell’s community-use kitchen project. Once CFC raises $10,000 locally, the OFB will match and award another $10,000 to CFC Blachnik said.
Local businesses are also partnering with CFC to show support. To support the project, Blue Valley Bistro Owners Seth and Melissa Clark will donate money raised on their music nights throughout the year.
The next music night at Blue Valley Bistro is this Friday, April 26. There will be free wine tasting from 5 to 7 p.m. and live music from 7 to 9 p.m., with special musical guests Richie G & MA Beat.
For every glass of wine sold on Friday, $1 will be donated to CFC. For every bottle of wine purchased, $4 will go toward the kitchen project. You can also bring canned food to get $1 off your coverage charge.
The last raffle raised $144 toward the project, thanks in part to the anonymous donor who won half of the 50/50 raffle. A total of 61 pounds of food was also collected at the event, which which goes toward stocking the food pantry, Blachnik said.
If your belly is rumbling and want to learn more about the project, a Taco Tuesday Open House will be Tuesday April 30 at the Cobalt Activity Center, 364 Cobalt Lane from 5 to 6:30 p.m.
Tacos will be served 5:15-5:30, catered by students from Creswell Middle School’s Survival Skills cooking class. The kitchen site will be open with designs on display and will be an opportunity for the community to learn more about the kitchen project. Donations will be accepted, but are not required for entry.
The kitchen project has also been getting support by another business, Creswell HealthMart Pharmacy. Pharmacy Co-owner Jeannie Marr supported the project by inviting Blachnik for a Rick Dancer ”Live on Facebook” interview at the pharmacy.
On April 19, Pacific Power Corporation Regional Business Manager Sam Carter hand-delivered a $2,500 grant on behalf of the corporation and toured the food pantry as well as the proposed kitchen site.
Support from Creswell residents is growing daily, Blachnik said. Donations of any size are appreciated and donors will receive receipts. Mail to Community Food for Creswell, PO Box 351, Creswell OR 97426 or online via PayPal at CommunityFoodforCreswell.org.