Opinion

Share your plenty with Snoqualmie Valley food banks

For many families, the holiday season that begins this week is synonymous with the comforts of hearth and home.

Thanksgiving, to me, means a hearty meal, sparkling beverages and a steaming bird, family conversation and a long, drowsy afternoon. In a word, plenty.

But plenty is harder to come by for many families this season. Just ask the folks at the Valley’s food banks.

Past years have seen dramatic spikes in the number of people who rely on these charities, as well as the amount of food that they need to ensure locals have a happier, healthier season.

The Snoqualmie Valley relies on several food banks and agencies to help others. Those include:

Mount Si Food Bank

The Mount Si Helping Hand Food Bank serves about 1,200 residents weekly, including more than 400 children and 200 seniors.

The bank’s biggest need this week is turkeys—Mount Si needs 200 birds to help ensure needy families have a heartier Thanksgiving. Wednesday, Nov. 24, is the final day for turkey donations, which are accepted from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Many families who rely on the food bank may have had a Thanksgiving meal in past years, but “this year, they might be in a difficult position to put that together,” said Food Bank Manager Heidi Dukich. Donations “allow people to experience grace and kindness from our community.”

The food bank is also planning a similar drive for Christmas. Most needed items also include canned meats, fruits and vegetables, packaged foods and household goods.

To learn more or get involved, call (425) 888-0096 or visit mtsifoodbank.org. The food bank is located at 126 E 3rd St, North Bend.

Carnation Food Bank

The Snoqualmie Tribe Food Bank in Carnation helps anyone, no questions asked, at its 31822 East Myrtle Street location. According to manager Fred Vosk, about 200 people use the bank weekly; pick-up days are Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

The food bank is always in need of canned goods and packaged foods.

The Carnation food bank can be contacted at (425) 333-6560.

Fall City Food Pantry

Lower Valley residents and anyone who needs food can find help at the Fall City Community Food Pantry, a program of the Fall City United Methodist Church. The pantry is open noon to 1:30 p.m. and 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on the first and third Wednesday of the month. The pantry has ongoing needs for monetary donations as well as things like diapers, canned meats, vegetables and fruits, pasta and cereals and personal items. To help, call (425) 222-5458 or visit www.fccfp.org.

Hopelink

The regional nonprofit Hopelink offers food, baby items and personal products at its Carnation location, 31957 E. Commercial St.

The organization also provides nutrition education to help families learn self-sufficiency. Besides donations, the group actively recruits volunteers. Learn more about Hopelink at www.hope-link.org.

The year 2010 has been tough for many people. But chances are, when you sit down to your Thanksgiving repast next week, you’ll have a few things to give thanks for. Please consider helping your neighbors with a food or personal item donation this season. Your gift may help them have something extra to be thankful for, too.

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