Friday, June 27, 2014

Food Bank Profile: Puget Sound Labor Agency

The Puget Sound Labor Agency (PSLA) Food Bank was established in 1975 by Seattle labor unions to provide assistance to striking union workers facing hardships.  Today, the PSLA food bank, located in the Seattle Labor Temple, has expanded its services to include a six zip code service area and individuals who are retired, disabled, underemployed or unemployed. After facing a few difficult years during which the food bank was at risk of closing down, the current food bank director Morgan Stine is wholeheartedly committed to rebuilding the reputation of the food bank by creating a safe and trusting atmosphere for clients.

Although the process of bringing this food bank back to life has been slow and challenging, in less than a year the PSLA volunteer base has expanded from 4 to 29 individuals. Morgan is also hoping to expand services by adding another distribution day during the week or incorporating a mobile food bank delivery system on top of the existing programs. The food bank currently distributes food on Mondays and Fridays, hosts a hygiene station every two weeks, provides no cook food bags, and is dedicated to extending assistance to disabled individuals by ensuring ramp access.

Rooted in Seattle’s historically strong labor unions, the PSLA food bank continues to utilize these connections by relying on relationships with unions to support current efforts. The PSLA upholds authentic ties to this long lasting foundation by collecting donations exclusively from donors who support the rights of workers to organize.   Director Morgan Stine addresses each challenge with enthusiasm and is happy to be in the place he is, clearly passionate about the work of the PSLA organization.  Backed with this solid base, the PSLA food bank is heading into a bright future as it continues to grow, build strong relationships, and nourish the community.  

Monday, June 16, 2014

West Seattle Food Bank

After a Seattle Food Committee meeting last Monday, a group of members were able to witness West Seattle Food Bank’s emphasis on efficiency and quality as a van tightly packed with banana boxes full of fresh produce and deli items was skillfully unloaded and organized.  The West Seattle Food Bank’s dedication to creating and maintaining positive relations with their community enables them to continually receive generous donation similar to this one from surrounding community partners.  The sincere connections made with neighboring grocers and donors allow the food bank to provide their clients with substantial and fresh food on a regular basis.

 Due to their reputation of providing desirable and dependable foods, clients of the food bank are able to expect and rely on quality items with every visit to the food bank. The West Seattle Food Bank takes a lot of pride in the value and breadth of the food they provide to their clients but take their efforts further by centering their methods of distribution in compassion and generosity.   Everything comes down to the needs of the client and ensuring that they receive what they need in a generous and respectful manner.  In order to address the various needs of their clients, the West Seattle Food Bank runs a number of programs including a Baby Corner program, a Bookcase program, a backpack program, and personalized Home Delivery for elderly or disabled individuals. With its numerous programs and undying commitment to distributing food to individuals facing hunger, the West Seattle food Bank offers a lot of support to its community. 

  Not only is a strong sense of community promoted between the food bank and visiting clients, but the West Seattle Food Bank values the community created among their own volunteers who are crucial to its functionality.  This wide base of volunteers consists of students pulled from neighboring schools to long standing volunteers who have stood by the food bank for many years.  The effort of these gracious volunteers partnered with a team of dedicated staff allows the West Seattle Food Bank to be such a notable and influential force in their community.  

Thanks to Huskinson Productions for this video.