More than a hundred cars wrap around the block in the Rainier Beach neighborhood on a chilly November morning. They’re waiting in line today to pick up boxes of fresh produce and cases of milk, cheese, and yogurt. This is food that will help ensure that their families will have enough to eat as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, leaving hundreds and thousands of people without work, and without food.
The Rainier Beach Community Center is just one of the locations for public distribution that Food Lifeline sponsors every month in neighborhoods with vulnerable populations.
Today, LaVonte is here to pick up food for his family. His hours were reduced as the pandemic hit, now working part-time, the pandemic has left them with little in the way of resources. Today’s food will help.
“I lost work at the beginning of Covid-19. It was hard, especially because my mother is sick with breast cancer. It’s been hard to get to the store. We don’t want to leave my mother alone.”
Van and his family are also here today. Even with a mask on, you can’t miss his smile.
“My family and I are very grateful for this food. These are very scary times for all of us. Now we have food for the whole family. It’s so very nice.”
Since March, the need for emergency food has doubled in Western Washington. Currently, one in five people are experiencing hunger, and that number is expected to grow as the virus spikes again during these cold winter months.
That’s why Food Lifeline has created our Season of Giving campaign. The campaign is aimed at engaging individuals, companies, and groups in providing food and financial support this holiday season.
More than a dozen large companies have joined us including:
Amazon, Town and Country Markets, Whole Food Market, Procter and Gamble, Mod Pizza, QFC, Les Schwab, KUBE FM, iHeart Radio, Cloudpaper, Delta Dental, Lane Powell LLP, Posie Turner, Full Sail Brewing, Walsh Construction, Molson Coors, E and J Gallo, Continental Mills, McLendon Hardware, Pacific Premier Bank, Treasury Wine Estates, and more.
These companies are making gifts, creating employee giving campaigns, retail displays, organizing food drives, and helping raise awareness around the issue of hunger.
The public will also play an outsized role as they engage in crowdfunding and personal giving.
According to Food Lifeline’s President and CEO, Linda Nageotte, this campaign is critical to providing food to more than 1.4 million people in Western Washington that may face hunger this holiday season.
“The need is this year due to the COVID-19 crisis and the massive job losses that have come with it. We’re seeing people in line for food that have never visited a food bank before. We want to make sure that when they show up, we can provide them with the nutritious food they need.”
Food Lifeline’s goal for the campaign is $3 million, which creates the equivalent of 15 million meals.
Individuals and companies wishing to get involved can join Food Lifeline here: www.foodlifeline.org/seasonofgiving
Food Lifeline is also in great need of volunteers to sort and repack the millions of pounds of food that will be donated in the coming months. Sign up here: www.foodlifeline.org/volunteer
People are giving their voice from across western Washington to advocate for programs and policies that work to reduce hunger. To join our grass roots efforts: www.foodlifeline.org/advocacy
Join Food Lifeline today, and help make sure that people and families across Western Washington don’t have choose between paying rent and utilities, or putting food on the table.