Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Highlights from the 2010 Mayor's End Hunger Awards

Last month, over 140 representatives from food banks and meal programs across the city gathered together to share a meal and honor those who have made an extraordinary commitment to alleviating hunger in our community. Mayor Michael McGinn presented awards to six community heroes.

We present to you this year's Mayor's End Hunger Award Recipients!

Eliana Madwed, OPERATION: Sack Lunch
Community Volunteer (Meal Program)
Eliana collected donations for OSL instead of presents for her 13th birthday.

Rachael Bigham, Ballard Food Bank
Community Volunteer (Food Bank)
Rachael contributed original works of art to the Ballard Food Bank and North Helpline's new facilities.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Mark Your Calendars: St. Vincent de Paul's 3rd Annual "Friends of the Poor Walk"

Check out this great opportinity to help St. Vincent de Paul's food bank and the other vital services they provide:

Join tens of thousands of caring people in more than 100 cities across the country in St. Vincent de Paul's Friends of the Poor Walk on Saturday, September 25th at Kennedy High School in Burien. Enjoy fun and music and get some excercise while helping to raise funds and awareness for those in need. All funds donated will be used by local St. Vincent de Paul volunteers to prevent evictions, hunger, utility shut-offs and more.

For more information and to register, click here

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Seattle Food Banks Hit the Road for the 2010 SFC Van Tour

Running a food bank can be a chaotic job. Between keeping food on the shelves, managing volunteers, and serving the ever-growing numbers of hungry community members, food bank staff rarely have a free moment to pause and check out the work being done by their neighbors, as well as consider the possibilities for change and innovation for their own programs. That is why once a year, in August, the Seattle Food Committee gathers for the SFC Van Tour to visit a handful of local food banks. We learn about their successes and challenges, see how they deliver services, and get to know eachother a bit better.

This year was as full and inspiring as ever. With 50 attendees, it would more accurately be called a caravan than a tour. We visited 5 food banks, all of which were operating out of new facilities (either new locations or remodeled spaces). No two food banks were alike, and they all offered unique ideas and inspiration for participants to take back to their own programs.
The 2010 SFC Van Tour sites included:

Ballard Food Bank

VOA Greenwood Food Bank

North Helpline Food Bank

Jewish Family Service Food Bank

Spiritual Miracles Food Bank

Thanks to these 5 amazing programs for hosting and to all who joined us that day. We can't wait until next year!

The lovely photos in this post were provided by Julie Washburn, Executive Director of the Washington Food Coalition. To view her full album from the day click here

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Seattle Food Committee Plays it Safe, with Help from United Way

The basics of food safety seem simple enough. For example, we all know that we should wash our hands regularly and store and cook foods at proper temperatures. But for our local food banks and meal programs, often the topic of food safety can become much more complicated. How to take an accurate temperature reading of a walk-in cooler and what types of donated foods should be thrown out due to their high risk of contamination are just a couple of questions that food bank staff and volunteers must be able to answer on a daily basis. If they are incorrect they risk making their clients (many of whom are already in a vulnerable state due to homelessness or chronic health problems) very ill.

At the Seattle Food Committee's Food Safety Information Fair, which took place on June 21st, King County food bank and meal program staff and volunteers had the opportunity to brush up on their food safety knowledge and get all of their questions answered by a group of local food safety experts.
Also, thanks to a generous donation from United Way of King County, they left with some great supplies to help them maintain safe food handling practices at their programs. Thermometers, spray bottles for sanitizing solution, food safe containers, and more!

It was a great day. Thanks to all who presented and participated, and THANK YOU UNITED WAY for equipping food banks and meal programs to better and more safely serve those in need!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Spotlight on Providence Regina House Food Bank in South Park!

The Providence Regina House Food Bank is an amazing program helping to meet the needs of the South Park Community, and recently they have been receiving lots of press!

Food Bank Manager Paige Collins has been selected as a finalist for the Brotherton Community Champion Award. If she wins the award Paige will receive $5,000 to help her to better serve families in need. Please take a moment to vote for Paige and the Providence Regina House Food Bank, and also watch the fabulous short film about her.
Click here to vote.

Also, a volunteer and client of Providence Regina House has graciously shared the story of his struggle and how it has led him to rely on the food bank. You can find it featured on the Feeding America Blog. It's an eye-opening read and a testament to the fact that there are many faces of hunger, as well as to the vital importance of our local food banks.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

SFC Members Help Solid Ground "Strike Out Hunger"!

On March 27th, 150 folks came out to the Solid Ground Strike Out Hunger Bowl-a-thon to benefit Food Security for Children, a program that helps Seattle Food Banks serve low-income families with young children by supplying them with nutritious foods and essential baby supplies. The event was a smashing success with over $12,500 raised.

Thanks to Seattle Food Committee Team "Legion of Chaos" for their fundraising efforts and for lending their awesome energy to the cause!

To find out more about the Food Security for Children Program, click here

Monday, April 5, 2010

Show Kids the Money!

Our first ever guest blogger, Northwest Harvest Public Policy Manager Josh Fogt, tells us a bit about the Child Nutrition Act, why it's a necessary tool for raising healthy kids and building a healthy country, and what YOU can do to make sure it receives the level of investment it needs:

Child Nutrition Reauthorization is here! Now is the time to ask Senators Murray and Cantwell and Congressman McDermott to invest in the future health of our population, our economy and our national security by strengthening the Child Nutrition Act to the tune of an additional $10 billion over ten years. Strengthening these programs will ensure our kids are receiving the proper nutrition where they live, work and play, AND go a long way to fighting childhood obesity.

The Child Nutrition Act is a large piece of legislation that comes up every five years or so and funds critical nutrition programs for our low-income infants and children, including WIC, national school lunch and breakfasts, afterschool snacks and summer feeding programs, and feeding programs in child care and adult care settings. Senator Lincoln has introduced the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 to begin the reauthorization process in the Senate, but the bill falls short of the full $10 billion necessary.

Study after study show that hungry kids simply cannot learn in the classroom. Chronic hunger has profound impacts on kids’ ability to focus, retain and thrive in our schools. Providing our children with proper nutrition for the school day is critical to the future success of our country.
The childhood obesity epidemic in this country threatens the future health of our population, our economy and our national security. For many low-income kids obesity and malnutrition are closely linked as families are forced to make short-term bargains, buying fast food or other high-calorie, low-cost foods to feed the family at the expense of long-term health consequences. Obesity puts kids at risk of heart disease and diabetes later on in life and can shorten one’s lifespan up to a decade. Last year in the U.S. we spent almost $150 billion on obesity-related medical costs.

The childhood obesity epidemic also threatens our national security, where three out of four 18- to 24-year olds today are unfit for military service, due in large part to either obesity or lacking a high school diploma. Strengthening the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 to the level of $10 billion over 10 years will complement other national efforts to tackle child obesity like First Lady Obama’s recently announced Let’s Move initiative.

We have a responsibility to ensure all our kids are getting the nutrition they need to be healthy and reach their full potential in the classroom and beyond. Ending childhood hunger is a matter of public and political will, we have the food, we have the infrastructure, and we have the know-how. What we need now is the political will to show our kids the money! Call or write Senators Murray and Cantwell and Congressman McDermott today and ask them to invest in our children, invest in our future, and strengthen our investment in the Child Nutrition Act.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

North Helpline Honored with an Agency Excellence Award

Congratulations to the North Helpline Food Bank! They were honored with a Food Lifeline Agency Excellence Award for Excellence in Collaboration.

North Helpline has been serving the North Seattle community for 20 years. When the organization found out that it's former location was slated for demolition, the agency decided that it was time to rise to the challenge of finding a permanent home for these critical human services that would accommodate the pressing needs of people experiencing poverty for years to come.

They sprung into action, engaging their wide network of volunteers and supporters to raise funds. They talked with government partners at the City of Seattle who suggested that they partner with the Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI), who already had plans for a new Lake City apartment complex that would incorporate commercial space on the first and second levels.

North Helpline purchased 7500 square feet of space at what came to be know as McDermott Place and, on January 19, 2010, they opened their doors. The beautiful new facility boasts an expanded medical clinic, an emergency services program and, of course, a wonderful food bank. They even plan to launch an evening food bank distribution this year to better serve individuals who work during the day. Congratulations North Helpline on your new home and thank you for your tireless efforts to make sure all community members have access to the resources they need to remain healthy and housed.

To find out more about North Helpline and the work they do, find them online at

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Food Bank Numbers Continue to Grow

As the economic recession continues, Seattle food banks have stepped up to serve record numbers of people in need, and unfortunately it doesn't look as though food bank lines will be getting shorter anytime soon. Jack Wagstaff of the West Seattle Food Bank was kind enough to develop some slides illustrating the increase in food bank use from 2007 through 2009, as well as explaining terms food banks use when reporting their numbers. Just click on the link below to check it out:

SFC: A Visual and Statistical Comparison

Food Stamp Use Soars!

According to this New York Times article, the Food Stamps are currently helping to feed an astonishing 1 in 8 Americans and 1 in 4 children!

Click on the link below to read the full article:

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

2009: A Year in Review

The Seattle food bank numbers are in for the year of 2009, and there is some bad news as well as some hopeful news:

Bad News: Seattle food banks saw a 20% increase in new clients since 2008, and an 11% increase in new households. It's very clear that more and more people are turning to food banks in order to make ends meet.

Hopeful News: With the help of community partners, food banks have so far been able to keep up with the increased demand for their services, distributing 20% more food than they did in 2008. We hope that this support will continue so that we can maintain this vital safety net for all who need it.

If you're craving more numbers, you can view the full picture here.

Friday, January 29, 2010


Hello Everyone! We are the Seattle Food Committee, a coalition of emergency food providers working together to feed Seattle for the past 25 years. We hope that this blog will help you all get to know our Coalition, it's 27 member food banks, and the issues that drive us to do this work. Much more to come.

Thanks for stopping by!