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Congrats Agency Excellence Award Winners!

A great time was had by all at last week’s 2019 Partner Agency Conference where we were thrilled to honor a handful of outstanding agencies with the Food Lifeline Agency Excellence Award. We presented these awards to recognize the valuable achievements of these organizations in ending hunger and meeting the needs of our communities.

The five winners of the Agency Excellence Awards are:

  • Helping Hands Food Bank in Skagit County:
    • Helping Hands grew in some big ways this year, expanding from one distribution day to four days each week.
    • They also extended their hours to add an evening after-work distribution once per week.
    • In their first month alone, they served an extra 900 people.
    • They added three new school pantries this year, bringing their total to seven.
    • They added another town and 200 kids to their weekend backpack program.
    • They also partnered with the local newspaper to deliver 500 weekend food bags to children’s families each week.
  • Port Angeles Food Bank:
    • Port Angeles Food Bank in Clallam County recently transformed their food bank to a grocery store model in a whirlwind 24 hours.
    • They encouraged healthy choices by assigning points to each item based on its nutritional value and allow shoppers to choose what they like to eat.
    • They started distributing TEFAP, enrolling all but three of their clients into the program.
    • They also partnered with their local school district to provide students with food bags to help them over spring break.
  • Thurston County Food Bank:
    • Thurston County Food Bank is opening a new campus in Lacey this year.
    • They launched The Victory Farm, a therapeutic garden for veterans and service members, developed in partnership with the non-profit Garden-Raised Bounty.
    • This year they will complete a seasonal farm stand and a new 5500 square foot food pantry that mirrors the shopping model of their first location.
    • They also led a penny drive with the North Thurston School District that raised awareness and $27,000.
  • Making a Difference Foundation:
    • The Making A Difference Foundation now runs the largest home delivery program in Pierce County, serving about 17,000 people each year.
    • They recognized that access to food was still a huge issue, so they started a pop-up food bank to bring food to people where they live.
    • The pop-up partners with churches, schools, libraries, parks, low-income housing complexes, and community events to give food to people in need.
    • They estimate that this new effort will help them serve another 5,000 people in need this year.
  • ShareNet Food Bank:
    • ShareNet Food Bank in Kitsap county found success in many areas this year.
    • They worked with local non-profit Kingston Cares to expand their school backpack program.
    • This serves kids even during summer and school breaks.
    • They also helped bring online a severe weather shelter in Kingston that saw plenty of use during the snowpocalypse.
    • They funded raised beds at their local giving garden that now grows 2500 pounds of fresh produce each year.
    • Finally, ShareNet heard the dental concerns of their food bank participants. They helped fund a mobile dental van that now treats folks in their community twice a year.

Thank you to everyone who attended the conference and for all the incredible work you’re doing to help end hunger in our shared communities!