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Bonney Lake Mayor encourages city to donate, support local business

With coronavirus leaving many people at least temporarily out of work, food banks and pantries across the U.S. are scrambling to meet an expected surge in demand. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall)

Even though Bonney Lake Mayor Neil Johnson can’t leave his home, he’s still leading his city of 22,000 people in Pierce County and trying to help local businesses stay afloat during the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s all a matter of survival,” Johnson said. “No one knows what the end game is.”

Earlier this week, the mayor posted a challenge on Facebook, urging everyone in the community to purchase one to-go item from a local business every day, or even every week. At the same time, he asked them to also donate money to the Bonney Lake Food Bank.

As of right now, there are 50 stores and restaurants still open in Bonney Lake. Johnson told KIRO Radio’s Gee and Ursula Show, if every one of the 9,000 households in the city just bought one item each day, that could make a huge difference. He is also encouraging people to buy gift cards or give an extra tip, if they can afford it.

Although this is a very stressful time, Johnson is able to keep it in perspective after nearly dying from leukemia in 2011. He had a stem cell transplant that saved his life, but now he has to take extra precautions and self-isolate during the outbreak.

“I’m thankful I can see my daughter graduate from high school and my other daughter play ball,” Johnson said. “I’m also grateful for our Bonney Lake community. They’ve really stepped up.”

To help your own neighbors during this time, consider donating to Northwest Harvest or Food Lifeline.

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