The Sequim food bank open to donations, but looking for specific items

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To help alleviate some concerns related to COVID-19 in recent months, executives at the Sequim food bank have changed some food distribution practices. This month, they plan to receive donations from the community once again to the establishment of 144 Alder St.

Acceptance of food and produce is an important part of the food distributed by the organization, said food bank executive director Andra Smith.

“Before Covid, 75 percent of our food came from donations, including food and items from the community, emergency food partners and food rescue programs,” she said.

Demand increased dramatically at the start of the pandemic, with many residents out of work or working fewer hours, so the food bank and several community partners increased their offerings, including distribution efforts such as the COVID program. Relief Food Care Package.

Approximately 500 boxes of food were distributed each session at Sequim High School, then at Trinity / Carrie Blake Community Park United Methodist Church, weekly from June to September 2020, twice a month from October 2020 to March 2021 and once a month. April June.

With so much food on the way, Smith said they had to make room, so the food bank bought one trailer and rented another.

“We were already close to capacity with dry and cold storage before Covid, and then we bought one trailer and rented another and we are still close to capacity,” Smith said.

She said food bank executives initially chose during the pandemic to stop donating to the community for health and safety reasons, but then it turned into an issue of space for storage and delivery. sorting of articles.

“It was a tough decision because we relied so much on the community for in-kind donations,” Smith said.

Demand for the food bank has increased over the past month, she said, which is a statewide trend.

What’s needed?

Smith said they have slowly brought back community donations such as fresh produce from the garden and farm, as well as women’s and baby products.

“We started working in July on the inventory to make space to donate back to the community,” she said.

With limited space and some items in abundance, Smith said they are currently looking for the following:

• low sodium soups

• cereal boxes with low sugar content

• boxes of macaroni and cheese

• various condiments (ketchup, mayonnaise, dressings, etc.)

Unlike past food drives, Smith said they aren’t looking for peanut butter or canned tuna because they have a surplus.

“We don’t have unlimited space anymore like we used to in the past,” she said. “It’s a delicate dance to do.

The food bank also receives many visitors with food-related health needs that require more expensive specialty foods. Smith therefore urges donors to consider specialty foods that are low in sugar, salt, gluten-free, organic and / or healthier.

Needs will change, she said, so for updated lists of needed foods, call the food bank at 360-683-1205, or visit the establishment’s Facebook page at facebook.com/sequimfoodbank.

Vacation plans

This month, the food bank plans to partner with Sequim High School for the Boo Hunger campaign. Students will place around 700 bags of donations at homes in Sequim on Oct. 22 and pick them up between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29, food bank executives said.

Plans are still underway for the distribution of the establishment’s Thanksgiving and Christmas meals.

Last year, community organizations teamed up to offer a one-day meal pickup at Carrie Blake Community Park for both holidays.

Smith said they plan to give away $ 15 Walmart gift cards for turkeys on Thanksgiving, as well as a box of traditional holiday meals. For Christmas, the boxes will include holiday foods and a standard assortment of foods, she said. The days and location will be determined at a later date.

For now, the Sequim food bank remains only in drive-thru. The Sequim Food Bank is open from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. on Mondays and from 9 a.m. to noon on Fridays and Saturdays.

Storage remains minimal at the Sequim Food Bank, says executive director Andra Smith, but staff have started planning since July to make room for community donations. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash



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