Local food banks weather drought

SNOQUALMIE VALLEY - As the sun shines and summer rolls into the Valley, it's often easy to forget that despite the jovial atmosphere in the air, local food banks are in the middle of a drought season.

"Normally during the summer our usage goes down, but so do our donations," said Ken McCarty, director of the Mount Si Helping Hands Food Bank in North Bend. "This year our donations are down, but our usage has stayed the same."

That increase in usage has pushed the average number of families that use the facility in the summer from about 150 to more than 200 - about 500 people a week.

"We've never had that many in the summer," McCarty said.

The plight of the Helping Hands Food Bank is one that is common for food banks across the Valley and the nation. Over the years a trend has emerged that finds food banks booming with donations during the holidays, but tapering off to low levels during the summer.

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