Food banks need help providing holiday food
EVERETT - Local food banks can use some help preparing for Thanksgiving and Christmas services.
The Salvation Army, Volunteers of America and Lowell food banks combined serve more than 10,000 Everett residents per month. At least one in 10 Everett residents receives some of their food from a local food bank.
All of the food banks could use turkeys and all of the fixings.
The Volunteers of America Food Bank has 2,000 families signed up for its holiday basket program, but as of last week had items for only 1,000 baskets.
The food bank is looking for holiday basket sponsors, turkeys and sugar.
“We’re trusting we will have enough” from the community’s giving spirit, food bank coordinator Kathleen Dale said.
The food bank also needs volunteers to work the warehouse, pick up food from local food drives and deliver food to the disabled and homebound seniors, VOA food bank fill-in director Sharon Paskewitz said.
“One of the challenges we’re having this year is lacking volunteers so much it’s hard for us to work around our warehouse,” Paskewitz said.
The Volunteers of America Food Bank at 13th Street and Broadway feeds approximately 5,000 families each month. Leaders there are anticipating more people will be needing help after the federal government made across-the-board reductions to food stamps on Nov. 1.
The VOA saw an 11 percent increase between September and October this year, but the increase tracks with the increases seen each fall.
The Salvation Army feeds men and women without children but is making an exception for families this Thanksgiving.
The food stocks are a little low right now, Lt. Dawn Apuan said. The food bank needs hams, turkeys and canned vegetables.
About 250 families have signed up for the Thanksgiving and Christmas holiday programs. The Christmas baskets include toys for children under 12.
“We depend on the community,” Apuan said.
The Salvation Army’s annual red kettle drives sustain the Salvation Army for the year. For every dollar donated, 93 cents go toward local services, Apuan said.
The Salvation Army serves about 200 households a week through its food bank. Combined with its community dinners and its bread room, the Salvation Army serves more than 4,200 people a month. The food bank gives out 25,000 pounds of food each month.
The Lowell Community Food Bank, which opened in April, is trying to put together holiday baskets that include a nine-pound turkey, gravy, a small bag of potatoes, vegetables, apple cider and many other dinner foods.
Food bank director Sequoia Warner is looking for people to sponsor families’ meals for $30.
Priority for giving out the holiday baskets is for members of the River of Life Church first.
The food bank traditionally serves 20 to 30 people every two weeks.
The food bank is growing in many ways, Warner said. The food bank has introduced cooking classes and will launch a “get out of debt” program in January.
To donate to:
• Volunteers of America (1230 Broadway)
Service hours are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and the third Saturday of the month from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Donate food to the warehouse in the alley behind Broadway between 12th and 13th streets Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. People can donate money online through www.voaww.org. People can drop off food up through Monday, Nov. 25 to support Thanksgiving meals.
A second VOA food bank in south Everett was created this year in the Anderson Shopping Center at 9017 Evergreen Way.
• Salvation Army (2525 Rucker Ave)
Service hours are Mondays and Tuesdays from 11:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Thursdays from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m. To donate, drop off food any weekday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m.
• Lowell Community Food Bank (located at the River of Life Church, 5218 2nd Street)
Service hours for December are the first and third Saturdays of the month from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
To donate, drop off food on Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m. or Saturdays, Nov. 23, Dec. 7 and Dec. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Call Sequoia Warner at 425-320-4779 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to make other arrangements.
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