The Chelan Douglas Community Action Council is opening a new food distribution center to assist people and families experiencing food insecurity. 

The purpose of the center is to help meet the nutritional needs of people in Chelan and Douglas counties for the next 40 years 

Community Action Council Executive Director Alan Walker says they set up a community market so families can access food with dignity. 

"When mom and dads come in with their young children, the children will think they're in a grocery store," said Walker. "They will select their own food. They'll go through a checkout stand. The only difference is there won't be any monetary exchange between leaving the building and when they came in." 

People getting assistance under the federal SNAP program, also known as food stamps, can shop at the market using benefit cards. 

People accessing food receive a set amount of points each month that they can use for food shopping, depending on the family size. 

Chelan Douglas Community Action Council food center ribbon cutting with Congresswoman Kim Schrier and State Senator Mike Steele
Chelan Douglas Community Action Council food center ribbon cutting with Congresswoman Kim Schrier and State Senator Mike Steele

The new center is located in the former C&O Nursery space at 1700 North Wenatchee Avenue.  

The Action Council received $4 million in federal and state money to buy the building that's housing the center. 

The nonprofit raised money locally to complete the renovations. Funding locally has come from local governments, private foundations, local businesses, and individuals and families. 

Eighth District Congresswoman Kim Schrier and 12th District State Rep. Mike Steele were on hand for the center's ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday. 

Schrier secured $3 million in federal funding for the project while Steele accessed $1 million at the state level. 

Steele said he's honored to be part of the process of getting such a big operation going. "The sheer volume of this facility is pretty impressive," said Steele. "And the ability of lots of families to come in and, sort of, experience a grocery store-like experience is pretty fascinating. And again, the combination of community volunteers, community leaders, and the community all coming together in one place, I'm very proud to have supported it."

The Action Council has reached 88 percent of its $6 million goal to fund the project. 

Missing Persons in Washington State

The gallery of persons currently listed as missing on the MUPU list in Washington State. Each picture contains the missing person's name, when they went missing, and which law enforcement agency to contact if you know something that could help.

Gallery Credit: Brian Stephenson

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