Snohomish Lions surprise food bank with $3,000 in gifts
SNOHOMISH — After the Snohomish Lions left the Snohomish Community Food Bank Jan. 31, its director Elizabeth Grant had one word to describe her feelings: “Wowee!”
She’d known the Lions were coming, but members had managed to keep part of the reason for their visit a secret until they showed up.
A $2,000 cash donation was an unexpected windfall for the food bank. The food bank provided more than 80,000 pounds of food to 1,725 clients in December alone.
The surprise gift was on top of the $1,000 electrical upgrade to the food bank’s shed the Lions had already agreed to fund. Service Electric Co. of Snohomish also discounted their labor on the project.
“We have had a shed outside our building for years,” Grant said. “The area all around it was dark. It had no electricity, so on Tuesdays, when we are open until 6 p.m., we had to use flashlights to navigate around the room.” Along with giving light to work around equipment and heavy food sacks in the shed, the upgrade provided a sense of safety. Lighting on the front of the building now shines “from dusk to dawn with a motion detector to brighten the area when clients and volunteers are going to their cars.”
The Lions had previously provided a smaller amount of cash and food to the food bank, president Michael Edwards said, but decided to go all in. The Lions may be best known for improving the lives of those with visual impairments, but they also fundraise for other causes, including fighting hunger. They donated their entire annual budget for fighting hunger to Grant so she could order exactly what the food bank needed, he said.
The food bank has been inundated with support, Grant said. In the past few weeks, gifts included a
walk in freezer from the state of Washington; a new fence from Cascade Fence to keep out people who were leaving needles behind the building and new cabinetry from Wells Millworks.
Food and money has been flowing in, “so much ... that we can serve our families generously,” Grant said.
With the lion-sized gift, “we will happily purchase some healthy food with this, including produce and protein,” she said.
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