Category Archives: Poverty

Social Service Partnerships DO Matter!

Katie Showalter, a Journey Home case manager at Solid Ground, which is also in the same building as FamilyWorks, wrote a great note about her experience with our food bank. Journey Home works with homeless families in King County to find housing placement.

Katie had come to the food bank to get a box of food for one of her clients and her note illustrates how important it is for families to have regular access to food and the fact that anyone can face a disaster that leaves them needing resources. Katie’s entry into our food bank also shows how important social service partnerships are!

Here is what she said:

“I wanted to thank you and all the staff at the Family Works food bank… I have a family who lost their last permanent housing due to a house fire and they are now homeless and working hard to get back on their feet.  Despite working part-time they do not have the income [to provide enough food through the end of the month].  My client called and said that they would not have any food for four days until their food stamps came.  I asked [volunteer David Tate at the food bank] if I could access an emergency food box and [David] was SO HELPFUL and KIND and GENEROUS in the food that [he] provided.  My client was in such gratitude and so happy [to get] milk, cereal, soups, peanut butter, fresh fruit and vegetables and was THRILLED to get salmon!

The work that you do [at the food bank] every day has a huge impact on our community and I greatly appreciate your generosity.”

 

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Filed under Hunger & Food Security, Poverty

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.

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

A Million Meals for Haiti

Want to help Haiti with a family-friendly (kids ages 10+) volunteer experience? Join The Salvation Army as they pack a million meals to send to a tent city in Haiti.

Here is some more info from the website:

WHAT: A fun event packing a million meals that will feed displaced individuals living in a tent city operated by The Salvation Army in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. Since the Jan. 12 disaster, The Salvation Army has already packed, shipped and distributed 10 million meals to the country.

Currently, The Salvation Army is distributing approximately one million meals per week in Haiti. To meet the constant demand for food, “Million Meals for Haiti” events are being organized around the United States in partnership with Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO) and Numana– a non-profit organization (www.numanainc.com) that produces dried, non-perishable meals to be distributed to areas of hunger worldwide. To date, The Salvation Army “Million Meals for Haiti” events have occurred in Los Angeles, Chicago, Kansas City, San Francisco and other cities.

WHO: At least 2000 volunteers are needed to make Seattle’s event successful. It takes a team of 12 to assemble and package the food so come alone or bring others to form your own team….Tell your family, friends, colleagues, community clubs, church, etc! Volunteers need to be at least 10-years-old.

WHERE: Washington State Convention Center, 800 Convention Pl., Seattle, WA 98101

WHEN: Sat. May 29, 12 – 8 PM Sun. May 30, 10 AM – 8 PM

HOW: For more information including volunteer registration, please visit www.salvationarmynw.org/haiti

We’d love to hear if you get a group together!

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

The Food Bank Diet

One group in Toronto is asking a powerful and thought-provoking question: “Does a single person on social assistance receive enough income to live with health and dignity?”

Social assistance in Ontario is comparable to DSHS here in Washington State. Basically, if you are in financial need, you may qualify for Ontario Works or Ontario Disability Support, which would help provide money for food and housing, employment assistance, and health care. But is it enough assistance? Do The Math is a campaign hosted by The Stop Community Food Centre located in Toronto that is battling this issue. They believe that there really is not enough assistance for people to live with health and dignity. See for yourself- check out their website and follow the “Take the Survey” link to see what financial alterations to your lifestyle you would need to make.

Read this article and tell us what you think. Could you live on a Food Bank diet? Can one trip to the food bank fill you up for the week?

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Nation & World | More families going without enough food | Seattle Times Newspaper

Nation & World | More families going without enough food | Seattle Times Newspaper.

Did you see this article in which more families are going without enough food?  This is not news to us.  We have seen the rise in families using our food bank.  But we live in such a generous community that we have been able to meet the need.  We hope that soon the ecomony picks up, people find jobs and are able to meet their finaincial needs.  Until then, we will remain open to help those who need it.

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Volunteers for Food Drives Needed

Help us keep our food bank stocked with nutritious food!  FamilyWorks is looking for volunteers to help with food drives at two local grocery stores.   Duties include handing out flyers and placinVolunteers collecting food at QFCg donated food into bins.  The following dates and times are available.  We ask that volunteers commit to 1-2 hour shifts.

 

Wallingford QFC (Adults only due to construction):

Saturday Nov. 7th 10am – 3pm

Saturday Nov 21st – 10am – 3pm

 

Roosevelt Safeway (families & youth volunteers welcome)

Saturday Nov 21st 10am – 3pm

December 5th – 10 am – 3pm

December 19th – 10am – 3pm

To volunteer contact Kate at katebg@familyworksseattle.org or 206-694-6725.

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Filed under FamilyWorks Staff & Volunteers, FamilyWorks' Community, Food Bank, Hunger & Food Security, Poverty, Uncategorized

Seattle’s Bag Fee and the Poor

Thanks to CAMP for highlighting the affects on the poor of the proposed Seattle 20-cent bag fee.  Our clients will be affected the same way.

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/dannywestneat/2009555408_danny29.html

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Filed under Advocacy, FamilyWorks' Community, Food Bank, Hunger & Food Security, Poverty