Food for Thought: University District Food Bank



This morning I hopped on a bus up to the University District to meet with Joe Gruber, the Executive Director of the University District Food Bank. The U District Food Bank has been around for almost twenty-five years and is the largest food bank serving north Seattle residents. They are open five days a week, providing supplemental groceries and outreach services to more than a 1,000 families and engaging hundreds of volunteers.

The U District Food Bank, like many other food banks, has noticed an increase in demand for their services the past couple years. Many of their clients have a job, but it’s still hard to make ends meet. I’m always impressed by the generosity of our neighbors to share with others. Nearly 80% of the food distributed and 60% of operating costs comes from individual donations.  Additionally, local food banks coordinate with each other to purchase staples (like milk) in bulk to get wholesale prices. I love the team work!

Superstar volunteer Susie!

One of my favorite stories this morning was about a volunteer who also works at Half Price Books. Sellers often bring in books in reusable grocery bags and leave them at the store, which of course adds up pretty quickly. Now, once a week those reusable bags are picked up for the food bank. Nice!

If you’re interested in donating items or volunteering with the U District Food Bank, check out the website http://www.udistrictfoodbank.org/index.php

Click here to see their wish list. In particular, they need baby formula, baby food and canned protein items (tuna, corned beef hash, crunchy peanut butter). Also, if you have embraced urban gardening and find yourself with a bounty of produce, drop it off at the U District Food Bank. They love fresh vegetables and fruit!

I had a wonderful time meeting the welcoming staff and community. Joe said it best—the U District Food Bank is an expression of the value our community places in taking care of one another.

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