Northwest Harvest must move the largest food bank in the state of Washington, their Cherry Street Food Bank in Seattle, after it received an eviction notice earlier this week.
The land owner, Trinity Parish Church, sent Northwest Harvest a 12-month notice to move out so they can convert the space into a 30-story tower.
“If there were ever a story that epitomizes the downside of growth in our region – this is it,” said Northwest Harvest CEO Thomas Reynolds. “Displacing a neighborhood food bank to make space for yet another high rise is just another example of the growing inequity the people in and around Seattle must deal with.”
Trinity Parish Church says the development will put the church in "a strong, long-standing position" to continue serving its community.
The church and three low-rise buildings on the property are aging and will require expensive renovations to address a cracked foundation, unreinforced masonry, and old plumbing and electrical systems, according to Trinity Parish.
"After much study and evaluation, it became clear that we were putting the future of Trinity Parish at risk by continuing to pour money into these old buildings just to take care of maintenance and emergency repairs," Trinity Parish said in a statement.
Northwest Harvest says on average the Cherry Street Food Bank serves nearly 5,000 people each week – providing fresh fruits and vegetables, baby formula, and a variety of other nutritious food for individuals and families in every type of situation.
Northwest Harvest says that they are exploring every possibility to serve the people in need that depend on the Cherry Street Food Bank.
“We are actively looking for a new home that can best serve the communities who have counted on Northwest Harvest for decades,” Reynolds said. “We will continue providing much-needed food with love and dignity to those who seek our help. But we need to find a new home as soon as we can.”
At this point it is unclear how the daily operation will be impacted due to the upcoming eviction. The current distribution of food to the statewide network of 375 food banks, meal programs, and schools will not be impacted at this point.
If you are interested in helping Northwest Harvest find a new home contact Jordan Rubin at (206) 923-7426. If you are interested in making a financial contribution you can go to their website at northwestharvest.org.