Friday, November 16, 2012

Turkeys for Thanksgiving

Founded in the 1940’s The Food Bank @ St. Mary’s is Seattle’s oldest food bank. The doors are open to everyone regardless of creed. The services target the most basic of human needs. This week, in preparation of Thanksgiving the food bank is giving away over 1200 turkeys.

“We started looking for donations earlier this year from the better known companies who distribute turkeys,” said Alison Pence, Director of the food bank. “Everyone told us they were only giving to their local organizations. So I decided to ask locally for donations from churches, schools, individuals, even on my personal Facebook page!” Slowly but surely the donations came in. One of the local churches physically brought in 225 turkeys on Monday morning. The food bank bought 1000 turkeys with the donations that came in.

The food bank had nearly 700 people come through on Tuesday and almost 600 today. Luckily, not everyone wants turkey so we had chicken, beef, pork, and lamb as an alternative. “We try very hard to satisfy each culture,” said Pence. “We also have a kosher freezer and halal meats for those who need it. The poor and the hungry deserve to have a good Thanksgiving too.”

The Food Bank @ St. Mary’s serves anyone living within the Seattle city limits. Our primary purpose is to combat hunger at a local level. Along with a staff of five and a team of 100+ volunteers, we operate a walk-in food bank and a home delivery program providing groceries for 7,500 – 8,000 people each month. In addition to food items, we provide No-Cook bags of groceries for the homeless, hygiene products such as soap, shampoo, and socks, as well as baby and toddler supplies including formula, diapers, and baby food.

Earlier this year, the food bank started the “Feeding Hungry Children” program feeding children who attend local schools.