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Whatcom County Executive Works to Stop Hunger
Whatcom County recently applied for a $750,000 Community Development Block Grant on behalf of the Bellingham Food Bank to help expand their warehouse, supporting their role as a regional distributor of Food Lifeline. Whatcom County Executive Jack Louws played a key role in supporting and facilitating the application: “Whatcom County plays a vital role in many community activities including senior services, mental and physical health programs, youth addiction prevention programs, and a host of housing programs for our citizens. That’s why it was appropriate for the County to support the grant for the expansion of the Food Bank, which distributes goods through the county and region,” Louws said.
Since becoming Whatcom County Executive in 2012, Louws has been impressed with the diversity of people and perspectives of Whatcom County. He first ran for office in 1990 when he became a Lynden City Councilor. Prior to that, Louws ran the family business, Louws Truss, Inc after taking over the business when his father was elected as the first Executive for Whatcom County. “I respected the example he taught by following in his footsteps,” said Louws.
Although much of Louws job as Executive focuses on mandated services such as criminal justice, environmental health, and land use planning, Louws recognizes the key role food banks play in this county. “A basic human need is food, so it is a logical extension of our services to support the Food Bank in their mandate to provide sustenance for those in need,” Louws said.
In terms of work still left to do, he said “there’s always more to do” but in Whatcom County the county and local organizations are working hard “to combat hunger, homelessness, mental illness, and drug addiction…It takes all of these programs to make a difference, and the Food Bank is a very important part of making Whatcom County a compassionate place to live, work, and recreate.”