No small potatoes: Special delivery en route to White Center Food Bank

Tomorrow morning, the White Center Food Bank gets a very special delivery at a time when it’s desperately needed: More than two tons of potatoes from Hirai Farms in Moses Lake will be delivered directly to WCFB, before another 15 tons are trucked over to a Kent warehouse that serves many other food banks in the area. Here are more details from a news release sent out by local legislators and shared by WCFB’s Rick Jump:

“Those in our community who are struggling to feed themselves and their families will get a break thanks to this generous donation. While these are hard times for everybody, the fact that the potatoes will be delivered just a week before Thanksgiving, makes it even more special,” said Rep. Bob Hasegawa (D-Seattle, 11th Legislative District), who was the liaison between the farm on the eastside and the food bank in western Washington. “It all began this summer when I was part of a business tour and Blaine Hirai and I got to talking about doing something to help folks in need on this side of the mountains.”

Blaine Hirai, a Washington State farmer who is active in several charitable causes and organizations, has done significant work to address issues involving the educational, nutritional and housing needs of minority and disadvantaged communities in Washington State. He has become a strong advocate of helping to provide the necessary elements and opportunities to those who have been deprived or have been placed in unfortunate circumstances.

“In today’s economic climate, it is getting increasingly difficult for many people to feed their families. When Rep. Bob Hasegawa told me that the White Center Food Bank needed food, I felt that as a farmer it was important I do something to help. I am happy to work with our state legislators to make this critical donation of potatoes,” said Hirai, whose strong family tradition of giving back to local communities in the Pacific Northwest is made possible through Hirai Farms and their non-profit charitable organization, Annie’s Fun.

“During these challenging economic times, more and more families in my district are turning to food banks to make ends meet. Meanwhile, it is harder for working families to make the charitable contributions to worthy organizations like the White Center Food Bank and Northwest Harvest,” said Rep. Sharon Nelson (D-West Seattle, 34th Legislative District). “I am extremely pleased that Hirai Farms has chosen to help meet this huge need in our community.”

Rick Jump, White Center Food Bank Executive Director said that in just one year there has been a 70 percent increase in the number of families they serve, “so this will make a huge impact in the community; a donation of this magnitude makes a serious difference and we’re very grateful.”

The White Center Food Bank’s mission is to minimize hunger while nourishing community, nurturing self-reliance and embracing the area’s rich cultural diversity. It has been helping out people in need for over three decades and currently serves more than 1,200 hungry families each month. In 2007, it provided enough food for more than 53,000 individuals including 21,000 children under the age of 18.

Northwest Harvest is Washington’s own statewide hunger relief agency. It secures 18 million pounds of nutritious food each year for distribution to nearly 300 food programs across the state, serving 36 of Washington State’s 39 counties.

You can help the White Center Food Bank any time with an online donation – follow the links on its website at


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One Response to “No small potatoes: Special delivery en route to White Center Food Bank”

  1. First, a big thank you to Blaine Hirai. Most farmers aren’t having the easiest times these days due to the economy and to have this incredible gift, given that, makes it even more special.

    Thank you also to Rep. Bob Hasegawa, Rep. Sharon Nelson, any other elected officials, and others who may have helped make this happen.

    All the food banks are having a difficult right now meeting the needs of the huge numbers of our neighbors who are struggling to make ends meet, so this is beyond wonderful news.