About

APOYO means “support” in Spanish. It also stands for “Allied People Offering Year-Round Outreach.” APOYO has been at work since the mid-1990s, when Philip Garrison and friends began giving out Northwest Harvest food from the back of a pickup truck. We began operating on Central Washington University’s campus in 1998, incorporated in 1999, and became a tax-exempt charitable organization under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code in 2000.

Food Pantry

We have always been a food pantry where everyone is welcome. Other than first and last names, we collect no personal data, and we do not turn anyone away. With volunteer help, we can sometimes deliver food in emergency situations.

Most of the food we distribute comes from Northwest Harvest, a regional organization founded in the 1960s. We receive some funding for our food pantry operations from the Washington State Department of Agriculture’s Emergency Food Assistance Program. As food becomes more difficult to obtain, we are looking for other sources of food. For more on donating food to APOYO, please see or Food and Nutrition page.

Education and Wellness Resources

Working with grants from the Kittitas County Public Health Department, the City of Ellensburg, Yakima Valley Community Foundation, and the Washington State Department of Health, APOYO began offering Amigos Atléticos, a sports and fitness program for kids in 6th through 10th grades. We are also expanding our wellness programming for women. We offer educational presentations on topics from women’s health to college preparation. We are happy to work with other organizations and agencies to present educational resources to the community we serve.

Friendship with CWU

CWU has hosted APOYO since 1998. In exchange, from our campus spaces, we have offered opportunities for education and cultural exchange for CWU students and faculty, our members and clients, and our Ellensburg neighbors. Our current facilities use agreement expires October 31, 2024.

APOYO has a plot at CWU’s Community Garden at the Wildcat Neighborhood Farm

Outreach Center

This is an exciting and challenging time for APOYO. We are building on more than 25 years of service to our community and transitioning off CWU’s campus to a new facility on land we lease from the Independent Order of Oddfellows Ellensburg Lodge 20.

APOYO will continue to serve as a food pantry and become a community outreach center, too! The APOYO outreach center will empower members to mutually provide food and other material support, offer and receive education through classes and workshops on topics relevant to the community, and host multicultural social activities.

A generous donor has pledged a contribution to help establish the center. The Inatai Foundation is also supporting APOYO’s transition.

We must make our transition off campus by October 31, 2024, but we have a long way to go to raise the funds we need to complete the project. Community support will ensure APOYO’s success. If you are interested in helping with our fundraising efforts, please contact APOYO Executive Director Stefanie Wickstrom to learn more.

Our supporters include

Donate to APOYO:

APOYO is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Our EIN is 91-1970470.


2021 Annual Report

Want more information?

Please call our office at 509-201-1820

or email us at apoyocommunity@gmail.com.