The Forks for Lunch Bunch started about four years ago as a result of Claire Bishop hosting a lunch at the RAC, and inviting everyone she knew and encouraging them to bring their friends — people interested in doing good things together on the westend. Bishop works as a Consultant to non profit and philanthropic organizations.
Bishop said, “Self’s Catering provided wonderful food and while eating, we talked about the challenges and opportunities of living in such a gorgeous area. We agreed that young people needed more to do in the summertime and that extending the summer food program to provide lunch for the entire summer were important doable projects. Bill Kindler, chair of the NatureBridge board at the time, suggested we start a day camp there for kids from the Forks and Port Angeles areas, using public transportation to get the young ones to Lake Crescent. Twenty kids attended the first year, 40 the second summer, and it’s now grown to more than 60! Costs for the first two years were covered by the PA Education Foundation and the Ben Phillips Fund at the Seattle Foundation.”
Bishop’s next effort was to expand the summer food program in Forks. WSU Coop Extension program, QVSD, Port Angeles Food Bank, representatives from the state office of the superintendent of public instruction, Forks Library, community volunteers and most importantly, Linda Middleton and her talented staff at Concerned Citizens, collaborated to host the summer food program for the remainder of summer, following the school district’s initial six weeks of hosting. The Ben Phillips Fund provided pizza and logistical support for the planning and execution of this (now) 3-year-old effort where about 100 children per day receive healthy lunches and participate in fun activities.
“At the end of that first lunch at the RAC, Pat Kain stood up to offer thanks and made the observation that this was the first time a group of people like those assembled had come together in Forks — I suggested that we continue to meet to think up great things we could do together, and the Forks for Lunch Bunch was born,” Bishop shared, adding “We meet about every 3-4 months, generally attract 35-40 people, all of whom are prepared to roll up their sleeves and do the heavy lifting!”
“The Self’s continue to feed us and the Ben Phillips Fund has been joined by First Federal Community Foundation and the Medina Foundation in covering costs,” Bishop said.
Benjamin N Phillips
This Fund awards grants annually to a broad range of charitable organizations serving Clallam County and is a legacy gift of Benjamin Phillips.
Phillips was born in Akron, Colo., in 1888. After graduating from the University of Washington, he moved to Port Angeles in 1913 at the age of 25. The following year he opened the Port Angeles Trust & Savings Co., which became First National Bank, and was later absorbed by Bank of America. In addition to being a successful banker, he became an established community leader in Clallam County. A long-time member of the Library Board, Phillips enjoyed classical music, particularly through Seattle Opera and the Port Angeles Symphony. The Benjamin N. Phillips Memorial Fund was established to benefit Clallam County residents following the death of Phillips’ second wife.