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Thurston County Food Bank set to acquire ‘Other Bank’

The two organizations announced Thursday that the food bank is set to acquire the Other Bank and will begin offering hygiene products on July 1..
The two organizations announced Thursday that the food bank is set to acquire the Other Bank and will begin offering hygiene products on July 1.. sbloom@theolympian.com

The Thurston County Food Bank distributes free food. The YWCA’s Other Bank distributes free personal hygiene and household cleaning products. Now, those services will be merged to make hygiene items more accessible to those who need them.

The two organizations announced Thursday that the food bank is set to acquire the Other Bank and will begin offering hygiene products at its sites on July 1. Hygiene products will no longer be distributed at YWCA Olympia, the current site of the Other Bank at 220 Union Ave. SE.

The YWCA will continue to accept and distribute hygiene and household cleaning products through June 26. It has operated the Other Bank since 1985 and distributes products to more than 13,000 people a year.

Chief Executive Hillary Detamore said the YWCA will use the transition to focus on other services.

“This change will enable us to expand our commitment to community education, leadership development and advocacy,” she said in a statement.

The move will limit the need for people to navigate two different locations and agencies to access the essential food and hygiene items they need, the YWCA said in a statement.

Food Bank Executive Director Robert Coit said the organization will operate the Other Bank with the same basic structure the YWCA has used and honor its history.

“It is our intent to expand the service throughout our network, but also to scale the program up as new resources become available,” he said in a statement.

Unsure about this transition?

The YWCA is set to host two community open houses at its Union Avenue address to answer questions about the change. The first is 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. April 7 and the second is 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. May 2. For more information, send an email to ywca@ywcaofolympia.org.

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