Wash. food banks seeking more volunteers through the holidays

Nov 18, 2023, 8:52 AM | Updated: 10:47 am

Volunteers from Bonneville Seattle pack groceries at the White Center Food Bank. (Jenette Warne/Bonneville Seattle) Volunteers from Bonneville Seattle helped support the White Center Food Bank recently. (Jenette Warne/Bonneville Seattle) The White Center Food Bank has been supporting the community for over 50 years. (Michael Simeona/ Randy Foley (Left) and Dave Ross (Right) help check out customers at the White Center Food Bank. (Jenette Warne/Bonneville Seattle) Volunteers from Bonneville Seattle packed groceries at the White Center Food Bank. (Jenette Warne/Bonneville Seattle) Volunteers stock the shelves at the White Center Food Bank on Thursday, November 16, 2023. (Michael Simeona/ Volunteers, including KIRO Newsradio's Paul Holden, pack groceries at the White Center Food Bank. (Michael Simeona/ Volunteers pack dozens of groceries in delivery trucks at the White Center Food Bank. (Michael Simeona/ Volunteers from Bonneville Seattle supported the White Center Food Bank to assist ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday. (White Center Food Bank)

In response to food banks facing a significant shortage of donations and volunteers within Washington state, Bonneville Seattle has joined the “Back to Action” campaign — a drive to bring in more volunteers this holiday season.

Bonneville Seattle employees recently spent a day at the White Center Food Bank in support of the volunteer drive.

The White Center Food Bank has existed since the 1970s, first starting as an emergency response to assist struggling families and individuals in the region.

“People don’t think about the importance of a food bank till they need the support of one, but food is a right, and White Center Food Bank’s goal is to ensure that people don’t just have the food they need, but also food they like,” said Heather Crandall, Volunteer Manager of the White Center Food Bank.

A record number of customers have been utilizing the White Center Food Bank this year. The Food Bank will be moving to a larger space on 16th Avenue Southwest in early 2024 to accommodate the growing need within the community.

“In our new location, we will now be easier to see, and hope that we are able to support even more families who need a little extra help, or a lot of extra help in making ends meet. And that means the need for community-minded individuals to support their neighbors will also increase.”

KIRO Newsradio’s Aaron Granillo said the volunteer experience was rewarding, especially ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.

“It’s humbling, rewarding, and also eye-opening,” explained Granillo. “The experience makes you realize just how critical these food banks are, and how many people rely on them. The need is even greater around the holidays, when nobody in our community should go hungry.”

Under the “Back To Action” campaign, Bonneville Seattle, Northwest Harvest, Safeway, Washington Food Coalition, Vault89 Strategies, the Seattle Seahawks, and KING 5 have banded together to support the vital work of food banks throughout the state of Washington by spreading the word to bring volunteers back to help in this crucial effort.

More on food banks in WA: Taylor Swift makes significant donation to food bank during Seattle Eras Tour

“The ongoing effects of the pandemic have created a crisis of food insecurity across the state,” Josette Gonzales, a volunteer program manager at Northwest Harvest, said. “While the need for food remains high, we are struggling to find volunteers to help distribute the food. We can supply enough food, but it will go to waste without the critical volunteer help we depend on to get it into the hands of those who need it most.”

The drive runs through Dec. 31 with the goal of signing up at least 3,000 food bank volunteers for Hunger Resource Organizations across the state.

“This is a state with a tradition of community involvement, and I’m thrilled that organizations, private companies, and our iconic NFL team have joined with us to alert people to the need for volunteers,” Gonzales continued. “With their help and the help of our communities around the state, we can end this volunteer shortage and work to end food insecurity.”

“We all have a role to play in making our communities stronger and healthier,” Seahawks legend and Vault89 CEO Doug Baldwin said. “So many in the region came together to support our Super Bowl Championship team and now we are asking everyone to come together again to support those who have always been there for our communities – local food banks.”

More on food banks in WA: Doug Baldwin looks to foster ‘connected community’ with food bank volunteers

Baldwin, a longtime community advocate for Seattle, and Vault89 have partnered with Back To Action to help increase the number of volunteers.

Sign up to volunteer at your local food bank to support the Back To Action campaign.

MyNorthwest News

Image: People attend the lighting of the holiday tree at Seattle's Westlake Center on Friday, Nov. ...

Steve Coogan

Seattle holiday events: Where to go in December to get into the spirit

If you want to get into the holiday spirit in Seattle or the Puget Sound area, consider these events and activities through out the month of December.

28 minutes ago

Image: Multiple Washington State Patrol vehicles can be seen on a Washington road. (Photo courtesy ...

Steve Coogan

Police seek help after separate harmful hit-and-runs in Washington

Washington State Patrol detectives are asking for the public's help as they search for a driver involved in a deadly hit-and-run in Kitsap County.

6 hours ago

measure 1 tacoma rent...

Frank Sumrall

Tacoma’s renter rights’ measure is in effect, but the city won’t enforce it

The ordinance is called the 2023 Landlord Fairness Code Initiative. City of Tacoma voters narrowly approved it during the November 2023 election.

1 day ago

Image:The Kirkland Police Department building...

Steve Coogan

Kirkland Police rescue teen sex trafficking victim

The Kirkland Police Department announced Friday its officers recently rescued a 16-year-old sex trafficking victim who is from California.

1 day ago

seattle police...

Frank Sumrall

Seattle Police recover video of car purposely hitting pedestrians

On Nov. 26 at 1:50 a.m., video shows a vehicle targeting a woman and purposely hitting her on N. 107th Street just west of Aurora Avenue North.

2 days ago

christmas carol radio...

KIRO Newsradio staff

Relive KIRO Newsradio’s telling of the Dickens classic, ‘A Christmas Carol’

Listen to the re-telling of Charles Dickens' classic “A Christmas Carol,” presented by KIRO Newsradio.

2 days ago

Wash. food banks seeking more volunteers through the holidays