Tag Archives: FamilyWorks

Hunger Action Day Focuses on Reversing Food Assistance Cuts and Addressing Unmet Needs

By Laura Shepard, FamilyWorks Volunteer

Jake Weber, ED and Mike Cox, FB Manager at the Capitol Building

Jake Weber, ED and Mike Cox, FB Manager at the Capitol Building

Jake Weber, FamilyWorks Executive Director and FamilyWorks Food Bank Manager Mike Cox attended the 2015 Hunger Action Day on Monday in Olympia with members of other anti-hunger organizations to lobby legislators or their staff members to support anti-hunger programs and legislation.

There was a great lineup of advocates from the 37th legislative district who highlighted the fact that economic recovery is not translating instantly into better food security for Washington Families.

One of those speakers was a 4th  grade girl representing kids all around the state who spoke on behalf of the Breakfast after the Bell bill, which would provide free breakfast to all students. She was soft spoken but confident.

“The legislators really paid attention to her- she made the point that it is hard to learn when one is hungry in school,” said Mike.

“She is a hunger advocate as we all should be,” added Jake.

Mike Cox was one of the speakers and he shared that 1 in 5 Washington Residents use food banks, and over 1/2 of participants served are either elderly or children. Mike pointed out that, alarmingly, in 2014 food bank visits actually rose with the highest growth in new participants coming from the elderly and children.

The main cause for the current upswing is no mystery – cuts in federal and state food assistance programs have made food banks more critical to more people than ever. The improving economy is cited as justification for quickly cutting federal and state food assistance programs, however it takes time for an improving economy to translate to food security for a household, and a recent upswing in unemployment has new participants applying to all forms of national, state and local food assistance options.

As major food assistance programs cut funding, food banks are stepping in to try and fill the gap. However, that gap is a big one. Food banks in Washington are struggling to meet growing demands, and this is reflected in the drop in total volume of food available to each participant on a per visit basis.

You can help!

  • Donate Funds – see how your donation of cash, goods or services can make a huge difference
  • VolunteerGive your time for food drives, sorting, driving or administrative functions
  • Advocate – Click here to find out how you can contact WA legislators and support legislation that helps people who are hungry
  • Tell your story – Legislators need to understand the full impact of being underemployed or being homebound and the frustration of not being able to get fresh greens in months

Thank you!

Leave a comment

Filed under Hunger & Food Security

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!

1 Comment

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

Fremont 5K

Get ready for an incredibly unique 5K experience! The Fremont 5K and Briefcase Relay is Friday, June 11th. Mark your calendars and bring some canned goods to donate to FamilyWorks!!

Want to start a team? FamilyWorks is looking to start a group–runners and walkers alike! Respond to the blog if you’d like to join our team!

2 Comments

Filed under Just for Fun, 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?

1 Comment

Filed under Food Bank, Hunger & Food Security, Poverty

Family Fun Puppeteer Donates Show to FamilyWorks

Over 100 people came to enjoy the great puppet show put on by Drew Derby, King County librarian this past Saturday. “It was really fun to have kids and adults come together and laugh,” says Kate, FamilyWorks volunteer coordinator, who put the whole event together. Most of the children who came to watch the show were between the ages of 2 and 11, and they happily participated in Drew’s rendition of “There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.” He also performed folk stories that captured the kids’ (and adults’!) attention.

If you saw the show and are interested in contacting Drew Derby for your own event, contact Kate at (206) 694-6725 or katebg@familyworksseattle.org

Check out Wallyhood’s pictures of the event here!

Leave a comment

Filed under FamilyWorks' Community, Just for Fun

America Sees Boom in Volunteerism

Are you a volunteer? Do you feel like your actions contribute to the community? If you answered yes, you aren’t alone—you’re in good company! According to PARADE Magazine, we are in the “midst of a volunteer boom.” Recently, the good people at PARADE conducted a survey and found that out of 1008 participants, 94% feel that it is “important to be involved in a community cause.” This is great news for organizations like FamilyWorks that depend on the crucial work of volunteers. Gladys, who runs the teen parent program, knows firsthand the invaluable contributions made by volunteers. “If it wasn’t for volunteers who help me with my teen parent program, I would drive myself mad with all the extra little things!”

This past year there were about 308 volunteers who helped at FamilyWorks, both at the food bank and the resource center. These gracious people contributed over 7,000 hours of work. Most of what we offer here depends on the work of these volunteers. The FamilyWorks After School Program, for example, consists of 27 volunteers who show up on a weekly basis to help out elementary school students. These fine folks have contributed 385.5 hours of volunteer work to date since the start of the school year!

So what do YOU think? Has there been an increase in volunteerism? Do you feel more likely to volunteer or to bring your children to volunteer now compared to your parents?

Leave a comment

Filed under FamilyWorks Staff & Volunteers, FamilyWorks' Community, Fundraisers

Apron Creation A Sensation!

Last week strangers and friends got together to cut, sew, and assemble aprons for the volunteers at the FamilyWorks Food Bank. People came armed with scissors, pins, and sewing machines and got right to work! We are incredibly grateful to Sew-Up Seattle for donating five beautiful sewing machines and one experienced teacher for our newbie sewers. Thanks to everyone who attended! It was a smashing success! In total, we completed 14 aprons in under 3 hours.

We ordered patches from Schnitzel and Boo so that each apron would have our logo…

Want to get involved? Call Danielle at (206) 576-6534. We have extra fabric if you’d like to create an apron at home to donate to the food bank.

Leave a comment

Filed under Advocacy, Food Bank, Just for Fun