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.  


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