We can help food banks help others

Let me tug at your heartstrings just a little. Have you ever experienced food insecurity? Ever been hungry? Ever been in doubt about how you will be able to put food on your table?

If this has happened to you, you know how difficult it is to think. You know how difficult it is to carry on with your day-to-day responsibilities.

It could be your neighbor just a couple of doors away that is under this kind of stress. It happens that the majority of the individuals served at the Tukwila Pantry live here in Tukwila. So the odds are high that someone you know or have passed on the street is one of those experiencing food insecurity.

Tukwila Pantry and other food banks receive aid in a variety of ways; federal, local and individual. The primary problems are usually the same — 1) predictability and 2) limitations as to how a food bank may use the aid. Some local institutions are changing the way they distribute commodities to the food bank system.

These changes create uncertainty for food banks. What will they receive and in what quantities? Much of the financial support received by Tukwila Pantry is limited to essential food items. Holiday food is not allowed.

There are many ways that you and I can help Tukwila Pantry help others. The most efficient way is to write a check or go to the Pantry website and donate. Cash donations give the Pantry the flexibility to purchase what is needed.

There are other ways to help. Buy holiday foods like ham or turkey. Check out your local stores. See if they have a “buy a holiday bag” program. These bags have many of the staples of a holiday dinner and are affordable.

By the way, non-food items for personal hygiene are welcome, too. Drop these items off at the Pantry.

Volunteers are very much appreciated. From hands-on work to data entry, there is plenty to be done.

For more information, contact Zach Giehm, the new director at Tukwila Pantry. Let him know that you would like to help.

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