Thursday, July 25, 2024

EDITORIAL: Watching a Post Falls success story unfold

| August 10, 2022 1:00 AM

The baton isn’t being handed off from the Post Falls Senior Center to the Post Falls Food Bank.

No, the two essential River City nonprofits are simply going to run full blast into the future carrying that baton together. That might make them impossible to beat, come inflation’s hell or recession's high water.

News that the space-constricted food bank is moving to the space-endowed but always budget-challenged senior center building will boost both organizations. Most of all, their combined greater strength will give both greater staying power, serving many of the citizens who need food and friendship the most.

For those who don’t know, the Post Falls Food Bank is nothing short of remarkable. It’s a model for the kind of giving — and receiving — that will change the charitable world.

Patrons aren’t just handed boxes of grub. They’re given credit based on their needs and then shop in the food bank, using those credits for items on their shopping lists. The healthiest foods, like fruit and vegetables, cost patrons no credits.

And patrons are encouraged to pitch in so the food isn’t a mere handout accompanied by sympathetic looks. The goal is to help patrons become smart food shoppers and consumers and transcend the desperate grasp of poverty, temporary or long-term.

The food component of what the senior center offers is critically important. If anything, it’s conceivable that those services could expand over time with the expertise and resourcefulness of food bank leaders.

But if you’ve spent any time in a senior center, you know that it is the camaraderie of patrons that feeds their spirits. Friendships forged there become the kind of nourishment everyone needs but many seniors lack.

Note that this merger could not happen without the kindness and civic mindedness of Post Falls city leadership and its generous lease arrangement. Residents who might have a beef with city leaders over issues like growth should be mindful that Mayor Ron Jacobson, members of the City Council and city staff prove over and over that their first duty is to the citizens — often, the most vulnerable citizens.

The Press also extends its greatest respect and admiration to the people who have kept the Post Falls Senior Center not just alive, but vibrant. Against many challenges, those doors have stayed open. All credit goes to those who have given so much of their time and treasure, particularly volunteer members of the center’s board over the years.

The same goes for the Post Falls Food Bank, whose leader, Leslie Orth, is a jewel in the region’s nonprofit crown. Leslie, her board and staff are the biggest reason we’re confident this merger will make both organizations better able to improve the quality of life in Post Falls.

With any kind of change come bumps and bruises, but a year or two from now the proof will be clear. The decision to join forces under one roof puts Post Falls ahead for years to come.