One in nine Washington residents suffers from “food insecurity.” According to Edmonds Food Bank Executive Director Casey Davis, this means “they have to make a decision between food and other necessities in their lives such as medicine or bills.” Established 39 years ago in 1981, this non-profit organization now typically helps approximately 1,600 people a week meet their food needs. The current COVID-19 pandemic is expected to greatly swell those numbers.
Yes, this distribution is happening in Edmonds, for the most part an affluent community, below the Edmonds United Methodist Church (828 Casper St., L100, Edmonds, WA 98020) every Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning. Each Thursday, there are deliveries to some senior housing in downtown Edmonds. Behind the scenes about 150 volunteers work seven days a week picking up food from local grocery stores (through the Food Lifeline Grocery Rescue Program), and then sorting and packaging the food items, donating over 3,000 volunteer hours each month. Many individuals, service organizations, businesses, and local groups contribute to this vital work.
Customers used to shop grocery-store style, selecting their food and other items to supplement their food supply. Suddenly, with social distancing, that has changed to a “drive-in and pick-up” system. Individuals can order online or are provided a list onsite (in English, Spanish, or Russian) of available items. Volunteers fill their orders, which are delivered to customers in their cars. What were formerly “open hours” are now limited to specific appointment times for safe and efficient service.
The Edmonds Food Bank not only serves families, including 20-30 babies each week, but also many senior members of our community.
Monetary donations are needed to provide for our neighbors who now, more than ever, require support. Donations are tax-deductible and can be made online at www.edmondsfoodbank.org or by visiting Edmonds Food Bank’s Facebook page.
For more information, call 425-778-5833.