Washburn Community Outreach Center Helps Families Shop for the Holidays

An IMPACT Grant from WNC Bridge Foundation has allowed Washburn Community Outreach Center (WCOC) in Rutherford County to make much-needed improvements to its food pantry facility. One significant addition includes the organization’s new outdoor market shed, which WCOC can use year-round.

Kids Gift Free Market was the first event to take advantage of the new space on December 14 and 17. The Kids Gift Free Market allowed Washburn Community Outreach Center’s clients to select gifts for their children to open on Christmas morning. The market shed will also be used in the spring and summer for events, including a farmers market and community yard sales, programs intended to increase economic growth for local growers and clients.

IMPACT Grant funding also allowed WCOC to purchase an 18kw generator and accompanying 500-gallon gas tank to serve as a backup source of power to protect the organization’s walk-in coolers and freezers during power outages that are common in the winter months. Other improvements IMPACT Grant funding provided include the purchase of two walk-in freezers and installing a plumbing line to WCOC’s food distribution and storage building, which now allows Washburn Community Outreach Center to have a hand washing sink and outdoor hydrant.

“An IMPACT Grant from WNC Bridge Foundation has allowed Washburn Community Outreach Center to expand programming now that we have additional outdoor covered space, which gives us more flexibility for our programming regardless of the weather. We are grateful this grant covered so many facets of our organization and opened the potential for us to grow up and forward.”

~Lindy Abrams
Director, Washburn Community Outreach Center

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Volunteers and staff at Washburn Community Outreach Center get ready to help families pick out Christmas gifts for their children in Rutherford County. WCOC provided gifts for over 150 children. Photo courtesy of WCOC.