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Everett food banks can use your help this spring
EVERETT - Every year, food banks face a lull in donations after the post-Christmas rush and before the annual Postal Letter Carriers’ Drive in May.
This year, food stamp cuts within the 2014 Farm Bill are driving more people to local food banks. 
Northwest Harvest estimates an average family had its food stamps cut by $90. With a family’s monthly shopping trip to bargain grocery stores such as WinCo potentially eclipsing $300, low-income families face a potential crunch on feeding everyone at the dinner table on food stamps alone.
Bill Kraut, director of the Volunteers of America Food Bank, said the food bank saw a 5 percent increase in new food bank clients after the food stamp cuts.
The VOA’s Everett food bank feeds approximately 5,000 families each month.
The VOA’s food bank at 12th and Broadway sits west of the Delta and Riverside neighborhoods, where a New York Times analysis of 2010 U.S. Census tract records found almost one in three people live below the federal poverty line. Northeast Everett’s census tract has the heaviest reported poverty rate of all of Everett, even more than census tracts in south Everett. Broadway is the defining boundary for northern Everett’s census tracts.
Kraut is looking for donations of canned fruits, boxed dinners and other foods. The food bank is flush with pasta, but other stocks are low.
With Easter coming, he’s also looking for canned hams, pineapple chunks, canned fruits and vegetables and everything that goes into a traditional Easter dinner.
The food bank also can use infant formula and diapers.
The Salvation Army Food Bank at 2525 Rucker Ave. “can definitely use good non-perishables like beans, chili, soups, tuna (and) fruits,” director Jason Detmer said. Easy-to-make food such as boxed macaroni and cheese, oatmeal and cereal bars also can help.
“We’ve gone through a lot of the stuff from winter,” he said.
Detmer reminds people that “the people who utilize the food banks eat the same things as people who don’t” such as condiments, spices and peanut butter.
People also can donate homegrown fruits and vegetables to the Salvation Army’s separate daily assistance room that serves about 2,400 people a month.
The Lowell Community Food Bank wants protein foods like eggs, milk and meats.
The food bank recently received a $1,200 donation of core foods such as rice so it’s “solid for the basics,” food bank director Sequoia Warner said.
The food bank is in the building of the River of Life Community Church located at 5218 S. 2nd St. 
The food bank also is trying to create a chicken coop at the Red Barn Community Farm to raise egg-laying hens, and is seeking volunteers to glean produce from grocery stores.
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.
A second VOA food bank in south Everett is 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 to 5 p.m. To donate, drop off food any weekday between 7:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.
• Lowell Community Food Bank (located at the River of Life Church, 5218 2nd Street)
Service hours as of 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. Call Sequoia Warner at 425-320-4779 or email lowellfoodbank@gmail.com to make other arrangements.

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