FISH Community Food Bank is a Christian nonprofit that has served our hungry neighbors in Kittitas County for the past 45 years, beginning as a grassroots organization housed in one small room at the Ellensburg Grace Episcopal Church, until 1977 when it was moved to the First Methodist Church in Ellensburg. Today, FISH continues to embrace its Christian heritage and remains grateful for the generosity and support of partner churches, community members, Central Washington University, local businesses and restaurants, Rotary clubs, fraternal organizations, City of Ellensburg, and other community partners. This amazing collaboration of support has ensured the FISH’s ability to keep the doors open and serve an ever-increasing number of hungry neighbors. FISH serves all people and all types of people volunteer at FISH!
When it opened in 1971, FISH was providing supplemental groceries for about 500 people a month. As need for the food bank grew, it became impossible to work in a limited space, so FISH moved into the Snickelldoodle Building in 2008 and eventually purchased the building in 2012. During its time there, the food bank morphed from an all-volunteer organization to the Washington State Lead Contractor for all Kittitas County food banks.
On the day after Thanksgiving in 2014, FISH at Snickelldoodle burned down. Staff, volunteers, donors, clients, and the entire Kittitas Valley were devastated, but within hours one of its partners, Mercer Creek Church, invited FISH to move into their bus garage and youth building for a temporary home. FISH said yes, and with incredible commitment and generosity, more than 100 volunteers from sponsor churches and the community moved quickly to put FISH back in business at Mercer Creek Church. FISH will always be grateful to the Kittitas Valley community and to the Mercer Creek Church congregation for the means to continue its mission of feeding the hungry during those months.
The bus garages and youth building behind Mercer Creek quickly and clearly became a good fit for FISH, offering more easily accessed food distribution for clients, easier drop-off access for donors, and safer parking for all. So when Mercer Creek Church offered FISH a permanent home and a 30 year lease at no charge, FISH gratefully said yes again! FISH now has an approved permit to begin construction on remodeling our new home, which will include the installation of a long-needed commercial kitchen, an education room, and adequate office space. Today, FISH continues to grow in its outreach even as it plans this exciting remodel.