It all started as a phone call. In 2014, Community Mental Health was in charge of the Mason County Mobile Food Pantry and realized it wasn’t a part of their mission. They called United Way of Mason County to start talking about what could be done to consolidate efforts and make a better impact. United Way started working with the Pennies from Heaven Foundation and purchased the Lakeshore Lumber Company building. Realizing this building was too large to be just a food pantry, conversations started focusing around the idea of housing multiple community resources together. The goal is to help streamline services and all be able to work together more effectively and efficiently.
The Lakeshore Resource Network officially opened its doors for community service on September 5th, 2017.
A Building for the Community
Local agencies were asked to envision an ideal facility with ideal services. The Lakeshore Resource Network was born from these ideas. Resources include: connecting consumers to needed services, food access, employment training, housing assistance, showers and laundry facilities for emergency relief, and computer lab and kiosks for tasks such as completing job applications, resumes, & tax returns. A main feature of the facility will be the community classroom and meeting space that can be utilized to offer training in a multitude of areas such as money management and financial literacy, job readiness and coaching, home ownership and repair, health and wellness, and healthy cooking demonstrations and meal planning.
In addition to the supermarket style layout emphasizing consumer choice, invaluable features of the Lakeshore Food Club include ample space for a walk-in cooler and freezer, as well as produce shelving, to safely collect, store, and distribute nutritious food for our member households. Cold food storage increases the shelf-life of fresh produce and allows for the capacity to purchase quality protein and dairy.
Another highlight of the facility is the repackaging room which allows us to repackage quality, nutritious bulk products into usable portions. These advantages decrease overall waste, allowing LFC to stretch its budget and make each dollar go further.