CNJ staff photo: Liliana Castillo Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico volunteer Teresa Wilcock of Texico sorts through food donated in a drive over the weekend. The food bank raised $135,000 in little over a month to match another $135,000 from an anonymous donor to expand their refrigerator and freezer space.
Small individual donations and a few hefty ones helped the Food Bank of Eastern New Mexico match a near $150,000 donation almost two weeks before their deadline.
A total of $270,000 will be used to build a large refrigerator and freezer with an attached garage area at the back of the bank’s building on Brady Street.
A non-profit foundation from Texas that wishes to remain anonymous pledged to donate up to $150,000 for the project if the bank could match it by Dec. 1.
Executive Director Nancy Taylor said supporters raised $135,000. She said she is excited to have the support of the community.
“Clovis is awesome and the people that live here are so kind,” Taylor said. “They are so responsive to need.”
Taylor said the food bank desperately needs to replace its current freezer which is out-of-date and is too small for their needs. The food bank has trouble housing refrigerated or frozen food, sometimes having to turn away shipments.
The new project will add 1,700 square feet of freezer and refrigeration space on an insulated pad in the back of the facility, as well as 1,800 square feet for a garage staging area.
The Attorney General’s Office donated an initial $15,000 and individual donations brought the total to $30,000. Stimulus money, $1,700 from Dick Higgs and $1,000 from the Clovis Lion’s Club and individuals brought it up to $40,000.
Aileen Eastwood, membership chairman with the Clovis Lion’s Club, said the club donates to the food bank each year about this time.
“We knew that they were trying to raise the money for a freezer and that they desperately needed it,” she said. “So many people need food and they feed them. If they have some food come in have nowhere to put it, that’s sad.”
At that point, Taylor got a call from the Joe and Charlyne Sisler Foundation.
“I said it might be $50, it might be something wonderful,” Taylor said.
It turned out to be a short presentation and a pledge to donate the remaining $95,000.
Taylor said construction will begin in before the end of the year and should be completed by the middle of March 2011.