One of the very best things about running this space is getting to share with you some of the people and organizations that make the South Sound such a special place to live. When I had the opportunity to write a post about Champions for Kids as part of The Motherhood AND donate $100.00 of frozen food products to help hungry families in our community, I knew it would be a great chance to tell you about Shanna and her team at the Puyallup Food Bank.
First, let me tell you a bit about Champions For Kids. It’s a national organization founded on the simple but powerful belief that All children should have: Someone who cares; a Place to belong; Hope for tomorrow and provisions for their journey. All children.
Champions For Kids also believes in the power of small gifts (and givers) to make a big impact. This summer Champions For Kids and Walmart are partnering with Tyson, Birds Eye, and State Fair in a Summer of Giving- a program that will provide 5 million meals to hungry kids.
You and your family can be part of the Summer of Giving by planning a simple service project to collect donations for hungry children in our community. Your project could be as simple as hosting a playdate and asking friends to bring along donations of kid favorite foods! Plus, when you submit your great project, you’ll be eligible to win at $25,000.00 prize for your school district. You’ll find more information and inspiration here , or look for it in the frozen food aisle the next time you’re at Walmart.
You may be used to talking about food donation events during the holiday months, but the truth is that in the summer the need is as great as any time of year, and for families with children who depend on the security of school breakfasts and meals, it’s even more so.
Shanna and her team of volunteers were thrilled to receive a whole cart load of quality frozen items. I stuck mostly to high protein Tyson chicken because it’s something my own kiddos love. Now, because the volunteers at the food bank can’t be sure how it’ s been stored, they don’t normally accept frozen food (so don’t rush down there with yours), which meant they were especially glad to receive this donation. As you can tell, Shanna gets asked to posed with food a lot, and she’s just as positive and cheerful in real life. She’s quick to give credit to others, and she’s absolutely tireless in her efforts to make sure there is help for every family that needs it. She jumped up (literally) from writing thank you notes to donors to give me a tour of their warehouse and tell me about their work and how you can help!
You might be surprised to learn that:
- Most food banks clients are families. Yes, they have special bags for chronically homeless, but the vast majority of the clients they see are families with children-typically working people who make too much to qualify for other assistance but not enough to make it to the end of the month.
- I’ts not just food! The food bank also gives out pet food, cleaning supplies, and even everything a family needs for a child’s birthday party (More on that in a minute).
- They love your cash! They also love your food donations, but thanks to special agreements with local retailers, the food bank has buying power that you don’t. The picture just above shows you what at 10.00 donation buys. Amazing right?
- The need is immense-Shanna shared with me that they now serve as many as 600 families-many of them folks who used to be food bank donors but are now struggling with our current economy. Many also have stories about an event-a death in the family, a job loss, or a sudden illness that turned their lives upside down.
- The food bank has only one paid employee and 100 plus volunteers.
- The Puyallup Food Bank is also a distribution center-helping get food to other food banks and feeding sites.
- Less than 2% of funding for the food bank is from the federal government-the vast majority of foods and funds comes directly from people like you.
How can you help?
- Consider donations of, “Most wanted,” items including peanut butter and tuna fish. The graphic below shows the rest of the list. You might want to bookmark this post so you can pull it up on your next shopping trip!
- Just had a party? As I mentioned above, because they also make sure families are able to host a simple birthday celebration, they can use your donations of unused party decorations! I know-who knew? I have had a leftover pack of favors and decorations after pretty much every one of my kids’ parties. (Why don’t people RSVP these days???) so I definitely know where those are going next time!
- Host a SIMPLE giving event. Consider making service part of your kids’ summer with a simple food donation event. Don’t forget to submit your idea for a chance to win big for your schools.
To learn more about the work the Puyallup Food Bank does you can visit their site or their Facebook page. You’ll find all the information about how to donate, or how to get a hand if you find yourself in a tight spot. They will also gladly give you or your group a tour or tell you about volunteer opportunities.
If their location isn’t on your errand route, but you’d like to donate, they also always have a cart for donations at the Fred Meyer on River Road.
If you’re not one of my Puyallup area readers, there are many, many great groups all around the South Sound that would love your donations and are also there to help if you and your family need a hand during these tight times.
I have a post on how to find a summer meal kids’ meal site here (any child can get a free lunch; don’t take donations to these sites).
Disclosure: This is a sponsored post written on behalf of Champions For Kids and The Motherhood. As always, the opinions are my own!