Food bank breaks ground at future site
Marion native Debi Kreutzman, now community relations manager for Kansas Food Bank, has a special place in her heart for the food bank at Marion.
Kreutzman told the 140 people who gathered Friday for a groundbreaking ceremony at the future location of the food bank that food banks provide an essential service in the communities they serve.
“Small towns make up the fabric of the great state we live in,” she said.
Gerry Henderson told the audience he first became involved with the food bank when it was housed in a room inside Valley United Methodist church.
People have always donated generously, Henderson said.
“Most of the time, we don’t have to ask, it just happens,” Henderson said.
Four grants totaling $182,000 helped make the new building at the corner of Cedar and Main Sts. possible.
The grants came from the Sunderland Foundation, the Mabee Foundation, the Patterson Family Foundation, and the Lattner Family Foundation.
Gene Winkler, Marion Advancement Campaign treasurer and liaison for the food bank, worked with Kreutzman to secure grants to build a new food bank.
The new facility will allow streamlined operations and more efficiency.
The 60’ by 50’ building will be constructed at the northeast corner of the property and clients will go through a U-shaped drive long enough to allow 10 to 11 cars to wait in line without blocking Main St.
In 2015, when Marion Advancement Campaign took the Marion County food bank under its 501(c)(3) umbrella the food bank moved from Valley United Methodist Church to the current location, an old filling station owned by MAC.
That first year, they served 893 households. In 2020, the food bank served a total of 2,541 households, providing 122,000 pounds of food to provide 101,000 meals.
Friday’s groundbreaking commemorated the birthday of Winkler’s wife, Doris, who died last Christmas day.