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Market, cafe among big ideas for new county food bank

If there's a county anywhere in America with a more ambitious, inventive, compassionate food bank than the one in Sonoma County, my hat's off to that place.

If you haven't seen the future new home of the Redwood Empire Food Bank — triple the size of the current location — and heard about some of the things that will happen there, I believe you'll be impressed when you do.

An on-site market is planned, an inviting and affordable one open to people attempting to feed themselves and their families with WIC (Women Infants and Children) vouchers or food stamps.

And a caf? where anyone can come to enjoy a meal and perhaps learn what this food bank does and what it aspires to do.

The 60,410-square-foot building off Airport Boulevard is beautiful but bare and the food bank needs about $2.5 million to modify, equip and furnish it.

"Our dream is to make this a world-class food bank," said Director David Goodman, a man eager to hear from others who'd like to help along the dream of a culture that assures all enough to eat.

HUNGER WON'T HAPPEN at Wednesday's grand opening of the Family Justice Center of Sonoma County because Art "The Pasta King" Ibleto will serve a free lunch.

The festivities and feast are from noon to 1:30 p.m. at the center, a promising new tool in the battle against domestic violence and abuse. It's at 2755 Mendocino Ave.

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