Starting Friday: Monthly ‘White Center Friday Free Lunch in the Park’ for those in need
Just announced – a monthly free lunch to help those in need in White Center, thanks to the efforts of multiple local community groups, and businesses – and a local student! Here’s the announcement shared by Mark Ufkes:
The White Center Homeless Summit community group, a coalition started by the White Center Chamber of Commerce and many local service entities and local businesses has been working for almost a year on a strategy to support the White Center homeless and chronic alcoholic populations to recovery. Participation includes many White Center organizations, churches, street ministries, business owners and residents who are working to reduce the negative impacts that can occur from White Center’s homeless on our business district and in our community. One outcome was to try a program called “White Center Friday Lunch in the Park,” patterned after a successful effort in Kent, where each Friday, free lunch is provided in a local park for Kent’s homeless, pulling them out of the business district for a few hours, and putting them in touch with people and programs that can support them to recovery.
This Friday, March 8, will be our first White Center Friday Free Lunch in the Park meal. It will begin at noon in front of the White Center Chamber of Commerce office in Steve Cox Park (corner of SW 102nd and 14th Ave. SW) behind McLendon, across from the Cross Church site. Volunteers will provide fresh tacos to the crowd, supplied by our White Center Taco Time. A big White Center thank you goes to Frank Tonkin and the entire Tonkin family, owners of Taco Time Northwest/Accord Inc., as they have agreed to provide hot meals for 40 homeless residents once a month for six months to try this program here in White Center. Additional critical support has been provided by Mac’s Triangle Pub, Grace Church, Union Gospel Mission, Mount View Presbyterian Church, Westside Church, Holy Family School, with essential community facilitation from Westside Baby. White Center businesses Proletariat Pizza and Uncle Mike’s BBQ have encouraged the discussions and provided positive direction and encouragement.
Lunch will be served by community volunteers until the food runs out. This project is implemented with the help of Alex Campbell, a Evergreen High School senior, as his required senior community service project. Alex helped with the homeless count this year, handed out over 200 flyers to local residents and businesses, and will be organizing and serving during the lunches this Spring. Alex plans to attend WSU in the fall to study business administration.
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