School supplies help Snoqualmie Valley families

Mount Si Lutheran Church and North Bend’s Helping Hands Food Bank are helping school children get ready for class by giving supplies and a new backpack to children in need. The service, which typically has 120 to 130 children sign up, has seen a jump this year in numbers.

“This year it’s 170, so I think it reflects where we are with the economy,” program organizer Nancy Flanagan said.

By the time the program finishes on Wednesday, Aug. 26, she expects to have served 190 to 200 children, fifty more than usual.

Children who sign up in July receive a new backpack filled with basic school supplies, such as pencils, crayons and glue sticks. They can also receive shoes if they signed up for them. Children who haven’t signed up can still receive supplies.

Flanagan and other volunteers will be giving out supplies at the food bank between 9:30 a.m. and 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Any leftover backpacks will be given out at 6:30 p.m.

The drive is supported by community donations of cash or supplies. Snoqualmie’s Our Lady of Sorrows Church also donates supplies to the drive.

Donations can be made year-round at the Mount Si Lutheran Church. Its physical address is 411 N.E. Eighth Street; its mailing address is P.O. Box 487, North Bend, 98045.

The Helping Hand Food Bank recently named a new executive director, Greg Schatzlein, on Aug. 17. He replaced interim — and former — director Gail Gerasko, who took over when Chuck Talbert resigned earlier this year. Schatzlein has been involved with the food bank since moving to Snoqualmie in 2004.

The food bank has seen a heavy increase in the numbers of clients it serves from just over 200 last year to over 300 this year.

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