More than 135 volunteers from the Seattle Kraken Hockey team and Climate Pledge Arena flooded through the doors of Food Lifeline today to help their neighbors experiencing food insecurity. There was chanting, lots of Kraken team gear, and enough determination to fill a hockey arena.
“I think it’s awesome, we’re having a lot of fun!”, says Kraken team member Jaqueline Lee. “We’re excited to know that it’s going out immediately to help people.”
In the morning volunteer session, the teams went to work sorting and repacking fresh pears and turnips. “It’s amazing to think of all these pears going to hungry families”, said Kraken staffer Sam Morgan.
In less than two and-a-half hours, they processed an entire semi-truck full of produce. The weight? 44,000 pounds. Not too shabby, for a team that didn’t have a lot of sleep.
“We had a game last night, but we were excited to get up this morning and get here to lend a hand”, said Kraken CEO, Tod Leiweke. (Who, I think it’s important to note, is great working a pallet jack.)
Leiweke was impressed with how smooth the experience was. “This is such an organized and efficient operation. Everything has been laid out so all we had to do was come in and do the work,” exclaimed Leiweke, “In this day and age, there is no reason anyone should be hungry. We’re proud to be a part of Food Lifeline’s solution to helping those in our community who struggle with food insecurity.”
Beyond a shared belief in ending hunger, the team from Climate Pledge Arena has an added connection with Food Lifeline. The arena was built, and is managed, with the mission of protecting the environment. At Food Lifeline, recovering fresh, nutritious food destined for the landfill is a practice that both feeds more than a million people, while being good stewards of our natural resources.
According to Climate Pledge Arena’s Rob Johnson, that makes Food Lifeline and his team a great match. “We’re on the same page when it comes to the environment”.
The day would not have been complete, without an appearance from the team mascot, “Buoy”. When he wasn’t posing with Food Lifeline staffers, the Climate Pledge Arena’s resident troll helped sort root vegetables, with his keen eye and deft hands.
All in all, the Kraken sorted more than 77,000 pounds of fresh produce, the equivalent of more than 64,000 meals to help feed our neighbors in Western Washington distributed through more than 400 food pantries, meal programs, and shelters Food Lifeline serves every day. Go Kraken!!!