White Center Food Bank announces executive director’s departure, lists 2017 accomplishments, looks ahead to 2018

Just received tonight from the White Center Food Bank, an open letter to its “stakeholders”:

We wanted to take a moment to let you know about some of the changes taking place at the White Center Food Bank and fill you in on a few of the exciting things we are working on to better serve our clients.

You may have heard that the Board hired Angela Beard as our Executive Director in July 2017. Angela has since decided to move on to another opportunity, so Carolynn Ferris has returned as the Interim Executive Director for the time being.

The staff is continuing to work hard on providing the highest quality food, produce and baby supplies for the clients we serve. By the end of 2017, we expect to have accomplished:

 Over 70,200 clients and 24,000 households served in White Center

 Over 1,056,00 pounds of food distributed

 More than doubled the amount of fresh produce made available in 2017 versus 2016

 Increased the focus on culturally appropriate foods

 17,000 volunteer hours donated

We are working on building out our programs in 2018 to reach even more people within the community in ways that directly impact their lives in healthy ways. Some of the things to look for include:

 We have received a grant to broaden our community garden program; we are calling our food bank garden Grow2Give. Not only will we be expanding the garden to grow more fresh, culturally relevant and organic produce, but we also will be holding classes to teach those in our community the best growing methods for our climate, and create a gardener network to share information and resources.

 Mara, our Community Garden Manager, will be working with Cascade Middle School in the coming year to help them continue to establish their own garden and engage the students in nutrition, gardening, and healthy soils education.

 An intern from the University of Washington will be joining us early in the year with the task of modifying the produce distribution area to enhance the “shopping” experience of our clients and encourage healthy choices.

As a poignant reminder of how we impact our community, we must share the story of Rosemary. She recently left us this note: “Without this food bank, I wouldn’t be able to feed my family through the month. My income is too high to receive SNAP benefits, but I still need help making rent each month since it has doubled in the past two years. I am so grateful for the food bank’s services. Thank you.”

We look forward to your continuing support and input to further our mission.

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