For this month’s Agency Spotlight, we’re highlighting the excellent work of Sequim Food Bank. Sequim Food Bank is an invaluable community resource for those seeking fresh and nutritious food in Clallam county and the Olympic Peninsula. They keep their vision, “to ensure that no one goes hungry in Sequim,” at the forefront of all they do. And it’s easy to see how their values of compassion, respect, and cooperation guide how they serve the community. Sequim Food Bank emphasizes that anyone can receive food with no conditions or restrictions on eligibility. Andra Smith, the Executive Director of Sequim Food Bank, says “it’s about compassion and community.”
Like other food banks during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sequim Food Bank has had to pivot their service model to make food access low-contact and socially distant. For Sequim, the transition was easy to make because most of the day-to-day operations already happened outside. “We have little barns and warehouses that visitors could move their carts in and out of,” said Smith. Now, visitors can simply drive up and choose from the food available in each barn. “They’re organized by category. Visitors now drive in front of those areas and we can provide choice to our customers that way.” They offer community members the chance to get food delivered anywhere within the Sequim School District boundaries. Smith said, “In order to reach more of our community, we really had to reach out to our community partners and create new collaborations. When COVID hit we had to step it up a notch to reach families in need.” Sequim Food Bank has been partnering with Clallam County and local first responders to broaden their distribution. It’s a new form of cooperation for all the organizations involved and Smith says that it’s helping the community improve their crisis planning for the future.
Sequim Food Bank is even gearing up for the holidays. They’re offering community members holiday meal bags with the full fixings for a holiday meal. Sequim says that “all are welcome” to drive-through or walk-through their distribution location on Friday, November 20th for a special package of food that will help families fill their tables. “The family holiday meal program is a tradition for our food bank. . . it’s another emphasis on coming together as a community and as a family. It’s so important for health and happiness. But how do we honor the holiday and the tradition while doing it in a way that doesn’t encourage large gatherings?” Smith said that Sequim’s answer to a socially distant holiday tradition is to give out vouchers instead of turkeys with the boxes. Anyone receiving a box will get a $15 Walmart voucher – enough to buy a holiday entrée like a turkey, ham, or whatever families choose.
Thank you, Sequim Food Bank, for everything you do for your community! If you’re interested in seeing more of their work, you can check out their website. You can also go here if you’d like to support Sequim’s Food Bank.