Monthly Archives: December 2014

Launching the PowerPack Program

backpack imageImagine going to school hungry and trying to pay attention in the classroom. Your stomach is growling and you simply haven’t consumed enough calories to keep yourself awake.

It’s a good thing we have the National School Lunch and Breakfast Programs which give children who are low-income free or reduced-priced meals. This certainly helps with combating hunger at school.

But there is another problem: kids leave school on Friday afternoon not knowing if they will have a real meal over the weekend before Monday rolls around. This can contribute to stress and anxiety for these kids and makes it hard for them to arrive at school ready to learn on Monday.

Fortunately, we have developed a partnership with BF Day and Hamilton schools to remedy this problem. Every Friday throughout the school year, kids who qualify for those reduced-priced meals receive a backpack or more aptly named, a “PowerPack”, filled to the brim with nutritious foods to carry them through the weekend.

Each PowerPack aims to have enough healthy food for four balanced meals plus healthy snacks. They do not require refrigeration, are easy to prepare, and are targeted to kids’ tastes. Some examples of foods in the Powerpacks include:

-individual sizes of juice
– shelf-stable milk
– cereal
– fruit cups
– individual meals (mac & cheese, spaghetti & meatballs)
– soups
– granola bars

The food comes from food drives, donations, and purchases from grocery stores. Backpacks are delivered by school representatives every Wednesday and are filled by our food bank volunteers. They are picked up the next day and distributed at the schools in a respectful and discreet manner to protect students’ anonymity.

Mike Cox, FamilyWorks food bank manager, who is coordinating this program says, “We are fostering our children’s health by reducing stress due to food insecurity and we are putting them on a path to a healthier future.”

If you are interested in more information or want to help, please contact Joey Ashenbrenner, Development and Resource Manager at joeya@familyworksseattle.org or 206-694-6725.

1 Comment

Filed under Food Bank, Hunger & Food Security, Poverty, Uncategorized

Watch Thanksgiving At The Nickerson, A Short Video By David Tate

On Thanksgiving Day 2014, Chef Chris Martino and his staff at the Nickerson Street Saloon and Grill hosted a dinner on behalf of FamilyWorks. They served a meal of smoked turkey, mashed potatoes, dressing, sauteed green beans, cranberry sauce, dinner roll, and pumpkin pie to our program participants. Enjoy this short video, by FamilyWorks volunteer David Tate, to see the yummy feast.

Leave a comment

Filed under FamilyWorks' Community, Hunger & Food Security

Eating Granola For Good

How would you like to come home to a jar of granola sitting on your doorstep, just waiting to be gobbled up? Because that is exactly how good it is.Holiday GGG

“So good we give it all away!” is the Greater Good Granola business motto, coined by Mandy Levenberg, a consumer insights expert. Levenberg has spent her career “advising companies and nonprofits about how to do good while doing good business.”

In fact, Levenberg has two goals for her business: making delicious granola and donating 100% of the profits back to the community.

And guess which nonprofit is the lucky recipient of all proceeds from granola purchases until December 31, 2014? FamilyWorks is slated to receive approximately $2000 so far from Greater Good Granola!

Levenberg explains, “Our granola is small batch, handcrafted, and custom-baked each time. We only use the highest-quality ingredients, choosing organic whenever possible. There are lots of special additions that make this granola so tasty — like pepitas [pumpkin seeds], unsweetened coconut ribbons, house-made vanilla salt, dried cherries, and real Vermont maple syrup!” Other ingredients include all-natural oats, pecans, sunflower seeds, organic olive oil, and homemade organic vanilla salt.

There’s even a Community Supported Granola program where you can get a monthly subscription of either a one pound bag ($14) or a two pound jar ($25). And these are all picked up each month at Levenberg’s porch. How sweet is that?

So not only does this granola taste good, YOU can feel good knowing that your purchase supports nonprofits working on hunger, homelessness, and food equity issues.

For more information about how to be a part of the monthly porch subscription program or how to ship to friends, check out the Greater Good Granola website, call 206-390-3682 or email greatergoodgranola@gmail.com.

Leave a comment

Filed under FamilyWorks' Community, Fundraisers, Hunger & Food Security

Help FamilyWorks make a happy holiday for children in our community!

If you are looking for a tangible way to help families who visit FamilyWorks, help us fill “Wonder Bags” for children who will attend our holiday parties.

Children will be able to choose the gifts that they would like – therefore, we need a large variety of items!

If you are doing any shopping on Amazon or want some good ideas, check out our Amazon wish list.  It has a variety of winter weather gear, toys, puzzles, art supplies, and books.  Select FamilyWorks for the destination and it will be shipped right to us!

Alternately, you can buy items when doing other shopping around your neighborhood and drop items off at FamilyWorks.  We are looking for small items, ideally that can easily fit in a 12”x12” bag, and nothing over $20.  Some ideas are:

  • Socks, hats, gloves, especially for one-to-six-year-olds
  • Small stuffed animals, puppets, small plastic animals
  • Play-doh, silly putty, etc.
  • Kid-friendly art supplies, stickers, journals, colored pens
  • Kids puzzles, small Lego kits, science kits
  • Decks of cards, card games, or small board games
  • Lip balm, nail polish, hair ties
  • Gift cards to Bartell Drugs, Target, Fred Meyer, etc. for $10-$20
  • Children’s books: anything from baby to young adult books

Look at the Amazon wish list for ideas or call FamilyWorks at 206-694-6727 if you have any questions.  We aim to have all items at FamilyWorks by December 12.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Lifesaving Box Of Food

Hi Everyone, David Tate Here

I thought you might enjoy this.  I was out walking around my neighborhood some weeks back when I passed a young couple and their child.  The man stopped and gave me a curious look and said “I know you from somewhere.”  I did not recognize him and said that maybe he had seen me at FamilyWorks up by the library.  He face lit up, he pointed at me and said  “The foodbank!”   I said ”That makes sense, but I’m sorry I don’t recognize you.”

His wife said they remembered me as I was the one who got them signed up at the foodbank and introduced them to the Resource Center.  I asked them how they were doing and why we had not seen them recently and here is what they said.

A few months back he had lost his job and they were living out of their car with their three year old.  The wife told me that they were down to $20 in cash and desperately needed food, when someone told them about the FW foodbank.  They came down and we got them signed up and provided them with what she called “A lifesaving box of food.”  We also got them “hooked up” with the playgroup program and some housing resources.

They are now in housing and he has a full-time job working security at one of the local “big box” stores.  They both said that their experience with family works had been transforming and lifesaving and had played a huge part in helping them through what was a difficult and stressful time in their lives and they specifically asked me let everyone know how thankful they are for the help.

1 Comment

Filed under Advocacy, FamilyWorks' Community