GALESBURG, Ill. (March 30, 2021)– Galesburg Community Foundation and River Bend Food Bank have established a formal partnership to bring a Regional Food Bank branch to Galesburg. The River Bend Food Bank, Galesburg Branch, will provide greater access to more nutritious and perishable foods for more than 50 food pantries serving not only the Community Foundation’s service area of Knox and Warren Counties, but also Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, McDonough and Stark Counties. In addition to the River Bend Food Bank, Galesburg Branch, FISH of Galesburg will re-locate to the space, allowing for all-around greater guest access and allow FISH to increase their pantry offerings. Guests of FISH Food Pantry will continue to have their needs met from FISH’s current location until construction on the new location is complete.
The River Bend Food Bank, Galesburg Branch will be located at the corner of Main and Henderson Streets in Galesburg. The location is known to many as the former Rheinschmidt’s Carpet Center. Galesburg Community Foundation purchased the building in December of 2020, and River Bend Food Bank will be a 15-year tenant of the property, with the opportunity for multiple lease renewals after the initial 15 years. The location was selected after years of monitoring available real estate opportunities. This specific location was selected as it provides easier access for the service area to obtain fresh produce and frozen protein and will reduce the amount of time spent by area food pantries that currently must pick up food to distribute from River Bend’s Quad Cities location.
Joshua Gibb, president & CEO of Galesburg Community Foundation said, “We know that food insecurity is a major issue plaguing our region and COVID-19 certainly highlighted this. Drawing from our experiences over the past year, combined with years of information gathering and conversations, we are so pleased to see this opportunity come to life. Not only will this valuable partnership with River Bend Food Bank more effectively serve our community members, but it also brings additional great opportunities—such as a rejuvenated property, jobs, partnerships, collaboration, and access. The Community Foundation is proud to prompt this important partnership to become reality. It’s another incredible example of the power of philanthropy making a difference.”
In addition to the Galesburg Branch being located in the building, FISH of Galesburg will re-locate to the space, allowing for all-around greater guest access and allow FISH to increase their pantry offerings. While FISH’s move will not occur for quite a few months due to the extensive remodeling the building will undergo, it is a further demonstration of the overall commitment to battling food insecurity and providing greater access.
Diane Copeland, president of FISH of Galesburg said, “We cannot be more excited about the opportunity to relocate to a more accessible location. We have had a need for greater pantry space for years and we will finally get that. Our goal is to provide the most nutritious and accessible food that we can and relocating to this new location will make that possible. This is a huge step for the future of FISH and ultimately the guests we serve.”
Galesburg Community Foundation, FISH of Galesburg, and River Bend Food Bank are in the initial stages of remodeling the former Rheinschmidt’s Carpet Center building and additional, necessary project plans.
Mike Miller, president and CEO of River Bend Food Bank said, “After years of many people dreaming about this project, River Bend Food Bank is excited to be opening a Galesburg Branch. Of our current partner agencies, 50 are located closer to Galesburg than to Davenport, many considerably so. The hope is that this initiative will make it easier for us to work together, putting an end to hunger not only in Knox, but Fulton, Hancock, Henderson, McDonough, Stark, and Warren Counties. The convenience of this new location might encourage others to partner with us. We are also excited to welcome the FISH Food Pantry as a partner in this project, given their long history of fighting hunger in the community. We are so thankful to the many people from the community who developed this vision and to the Galesburg Community Foundation for helping make this possible.”
Galesburg Mayor John Pritchard, who has been involved for many years in the conversations surrounding food insecurity said, “It is great to see this project move forward to reality. Projects like this happen because different partners come together in our community to make things happen. In this case, nonprofits/philanthropy organizations and local government have worked together to bring this valuable addition to the community.”
To follow the project’s progress and learn more about this partnership visit http://www.yourgcf.org/Food Branch or follow Galesburg Community Foundation on Facebook for regular updates.