Here’s a press release from Bates Technical College about helping out the Resource Distribution Council, the food bank I wrote about last week:
Bates Technical College instructors and students have stepped in to help the Resource Distribution Council (RDC) keep their doors open. RDC, a community food bank, serves nearly 9,500 people a month, operates five mobile pantries in Pierce County, and distributes approximately 1.5 million pounds of food a year. The South Tacoma building they had leased for the past nine years sold, and RDC was forced to relocate.
A News Tribune article of October 5 featured Anna Wingate, RDC president, issuing a plea for help. The installation of an electrical system sufficient to handle the walk-in freezer and refrigeration units and the moving of that equipment and provisions was estimated to cost $20,000, a near fatal blow to the nonprofit’s annual operating budget. Bates Technical College answered the call with an offer of assistance from several of its technical programs.
This week, Bates’ electrical construction students have installed the needed electrical wiring at the new Lakewood location; Bates’ truck driving students have transported all of the equipment and food supplies to the warehouse; Bates heating, ventilation and air conditioning students shut down the freezer and refrigeration units and reinstalled them. The freezers and coolers are operating once again, and the Resource Distribution Council is back in business.
"Talk about human kindness," says Wingate. "I had no idea that an entire institution would literally adopt us. The response from Bates has been truly amazing. Because of their swift and generous actions, we are able to get back to what we are meant to do — feeding our people."
Kris Manning, Bates’ Executive Dean of Instruction, considers it a win-win situation. "We are helping our neighbors, we are helping needy families in our community, and our students are gaining practical, hands-on experience that helps them build industry-specific skills," Manning says.