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Food banks can use more supplies during springtime



SNOHOMISH COUNTY — Once Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas hams are depleted, many food banks face a lull in donations before Easter and the May Letter Carrier’s food drive.
Five local food banks could use community support to ease hunger for the residents who rely on them each month. There are 48,000 Snohomish County residents who visit a food bank regularly according to Volunteers of America Western Washington.
One tip for donors who want to help with just a few clicks: most food banks are eligible to receive 0.5 percent of Amazon site sales if customers register their choice of food bank at www.smile.amazon.com.
 
 Maltby Food Bank
The community institution will be celebrating its 25th anniversary this summer and director Natalie Oswald said the number of seniors it serves has grown. The food bank serves about 550 clients per week and provides dry goods and produce plus toiletries whenever possible.
“The stuff that we need is toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, laundry soap and toothpaste,” Oswald said. Also, “packages of cocoa and cider, canned meat, syrup, and pancake mix, Hamburger Helper, Rice-a-Roni, muffin mix, and jelly,” to go with all the peanut butter the center already has is appreciated.
The site serves clients from multiple school districts and encourages clients to drop in. If they are not in the food bank’s service area, they can still receive food that day and Oswald’s team will then refer them to the right food bank for next time.
    
Snohomish Community Food Bank
The food bank serves about 2,500 individuals a month and while they have seen the number of clients drop in recent years, the homeless client population has grown 69 percent, said director Elizabeth Grant.
Clients are given 10 to 12 bags of groceries, about 125 to 150 pounds worth: “The community is so crazy generous we’re so proud we can offer (clients food) once a week,” Grant said.
The food bank also offers a delivery program for homebound seniors and others, such as individuals recovering from surgery.
The priority at the site is healthful foods. We are “trying not to do candies, chips and soda, we  put them on rack and put ‘beware’ in English,  Spanish and Ukrainian so they know we’re not messing around, “ Grant said.
The food bank is particularly in need of peanut butter, jelly, healthy cereal, adult diapers, Ensure, baby diapers, Once Thanksgiving turkeys and Christmas hams are depleted, many food banks face a lull in donations before Easter and the May Letter Carrier’s food drive.
Five local food banks could use community support to ease hunger for the residents who rely on them each month. There are 48,000 Snohomish County residents who visit a food bank regularly according to Volunteers of America Western Washington.
One tip for donors who want to help with just a few clicks: most food banks are eligible to receive 0.5 percent of Amazon site sales if customers register their choice of food bank at www.smile.amazon.com.
 
 Maltby Food Bank
The community institution will be celebrating its 25th anniversary this summer and director Natalie Oswald said the number of seniors it serves has grown. The food bank serves about 550 clients per week and provides dry goods and produce plus toiletries whenever possible.
“The stuff that we need is toilet paper, paper towels, shampoo, laundry soap and toothpaste,” Oswald said. Also, “packages of cocoa and cider, canned meat, syrup, and pancake mix, Hamburger Helper, Rice-a-Roni, muffin mix, and jelly,” to go with all the peanut butter the center already has is appreciated.
The site serves clients from multiple school districts and encourages clients to drop in. If they are not in the food bank’s service area, they can still receive food that day and Oswald’s team will then refer them to the right food bank for next time.
    
Snohomish Community Food Bank
The food bank serves about 2,500 individuals a month and while they have seen the number of clients drop in recent years, the homeless client population has grown 69 percent, said director Elizabeth Grant.
Clients are given 10 to 12 bags of groceries, about 125 to 150 pounds worth: “The community is so crazy generous we’re so proud we can offer (clients food) once a week,” Grant said.
The food bank also offers a delivery program for homebound seniors and others, such as individuals recovering from surgery.
The priority at the site is healthful foods. We are “trying not to do candies, chips and soda, we  put them on rack and put ‘beware’ in English,  Spanish and Ukrainian so they know we’re not messing around, “ Grant said.
The food bank is particularly in need of peanut butter, jelly, healthy cereal, adult diapers, Ensure, baby diapers, sizes 3, 4, 5 and 6 and oral hygiene, like toothbrushes and toothpaste, Grant said in an email.
The food bank currently is running a donation drive with Haggen supermarket through its meat department.

Salvation Army Food Bank
This food bank in Everett serves 400 to 500 people on average weekly and “we are getting bare,” said volunteer coordinator Alyssa Landry.
As outreach to families has increased, Landry said she has seen the number of families double. She attributes some of the increase to children moving back in with parents, which can strain household budgets.
The Salvation Army accepts all food that’s not opened or damaged, anything from condiments to cans of soup, beans, fruit, vegetables, Landry said.
The food bank serves anyone with an Everett mailing address and ID. Clients can receive food twice per month and bread daily. Clients receive two bags, one of dry goods, one of produce and extra for larger families.
 
Sky Valley Food Bank
More than 4,100 clients came to the food bank in Monroe in January, said director Cindy Chessie. The center provides an average of 15,000 pounds of food every month and the need has been stable. Chessie said she mostly sees seniors and families.
Cash donations are always best Chessie said because the food bank can make the money go a lot further than a typical grocery store shopper. “I don’t turn down volunteers either,” Chessie said.
Sky Valley tries to give clients some choice and a sense of normality shopping for groceries. They provide 35 to 105 pounds of food weekly to clients, depending on the size of the family. 
Students also get extra attention from Sky Valley. The food bank fills backpacks with food for 139 students each Friday to help them through the weekend.
 
Volunteers of America Food Banks
The bustling food bank system serves approximately 4,200 clients monthly, said director Alison Cook.
The food bank could use cash more than cans so that it can provide more services across a larger area, such as the three “pop-up” food banks it offers. For the same reason, volunteers are also always welcome.
“Unfortunately, we don’t see a decrease (in clients), I think the (weath) gap continues to widen between the people ... and it’s harder and harder for (other) people to make ends meet,” Cook said. The VOA is sensitive to those holding down two or three jobs, so it offers some Saturday and evening hours.
The food bank aims to provide families about three days’ worth of food and clients may shop twice per month.


Lee Alley photo

Lowell Lorenz (in orange), a volunteer with Snohomish Community Food Bank, assists a client in selecting food.



Where to get help and give help

Salvation Army Food Bank
Location: 2525 Rucker Ave. in Everett
Service hours: Monday to Thursday: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., closed 1 to 1:30 p.m.
Donation hours: Monday to Thursday: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., closed 1 to 1:30 p.m.
For more information: www.everettsalvationarmy.org or 425-259-8129.

Maltby Food Bank
Location: 21104 86th Ave. SE in Snohomish
Service hours: 2 to 4:45 p.m. Thursdays
Donation hours: Monday 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesdays 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Thursdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For more information: www.maltbyfoodbank.org/wordpress or 360-668-7900.
 
Sky Valley Food Bank
Location: 233 Sky River Parkway in Monroe
Donation hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday: 8 to 11:30 a.m, Mondays: 5:30 to 7 p.m.
For more information: www.svfoodbank.org or 360-794-7959

Snohomish Food Bank
Location: 1330 Ferguson Park Road in Snohomish
Service hours: Tuesdays: 3 p.m. to 6:45 p.m., Fridays: 10:00 a.m. to 1:45 p.m.
Donation hours: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday: 9 a.m. to noon, Tuesday: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. to noon.
For more information: www.snohomishfoodbank.org or 360-568-7993.

VOAWW main food bank
Location: Corner of 12th Street and Broadway in Everett
Service hours: Wednesdays: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (closed from 11:45 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.), Thursdays: 9a.m. to 1 p.m., third Saturday of each month: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Other locations are at First Baptist Church Community Center, 3120 Wetmore Ave. in Everett (Service hours: Mondays 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.); Bible Baptist Church, 805 W. Casino Road in Everett (Service hours: Tuesdays from 3 to 5 p.m.) and Advent Lutheran Church, 4306 132nd Street SE in Mill Creek (Service hours: Thursdays: 4 to 6 p.m.); and 703 1st Street in Sultan (Service hours: Thursdays: 5 to 7 p.m., Fridays: 9:30 a.m. to noon)
For more information: www.voaww.org or 425-259-3191.

 



 

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