It’s been a while since I’ve mentioned the hunger relief organization, Food Lifeline. It’s a great place to go volunteer if you want to get involved in fighting hunger in Western Washington. Food Lifeline distributes food to over 300 food banks and meal programs in Washington State. It’s super easy for groups to sign up! Ideally, Food Lifeline wants about 30 volunteers at each volunteer session, but if your group is far fewer than 30 people, that is no problem at all. It appears that the volunteer coordinator at Food Lifeline will sometimes schedule small groups together and/or open up “Save the Day” volunteering positions to the general public. Let me explain what “Save the Day” is. Food Lifeline welcomes individuals too. Let’s say hypothetically that Food Lifeline is able to schedule about 20 people between two small groups to help in their warehouse. Then they might open up 10 Save The Day slots to individuals who want to come help out. This is often how I’ve been involved with them. Every volunteer is important!
It takes an enormous amount of volunteer hours to make Food Lifeline work. What happens is that Food Lifeline will receive donations from local area growers. For example, Skagit Valley’s Best Farms might donate huge 2,000 pound bags of potatoes. A food bank can’t work with a 2,000 bag of potatoes really. So individuals have to sort and repack them. Rotten and moldy potatoes get tossed into compost bins. And then volunteers would repack them into labeled 5-pound bags. The smaller 5-pound bags are boxed neatly, and ready for distribution to area food banks or meal programs. By the way, I have seen both sides of this process. I have also volunteered at Seattle’s Operation Nightwatch which has a meal program for homeless and hungry. I’ve been in the Operation Nightwatch kitchen and I’ve seen boxes that look suspiciously like they came from Food Lifeline!
Last night, I indeed helped with repacking potatoes. Thank you Skagit Valley’s Best Farms for the huge donation to Food Lifeline! I was at a table that helped sort, bag, and weigh them. Then the 5-pound bags were placed onto a conveyor belt and sent to those volunteers who placed them into boxes and stacked the boxes neatly for distribution. I’ve included below a few quick photos that I took with my phone as I worked. I hope that I have inspired you to contact Food Lifeline and volunteer (if you’re in the greater Seattle area). Even if you have a small group of five to ten people (a couple of Starbucks stores? hint hint), it is worthwhile to contact them. Food Lifeline welcomes donations too.
You can read about my previous Food Lifeline adventures here. I apologize for the non-Starbucks content. I have said in the past that once in a while I’ll talk about other things, but don’t worry, more Starbucks article will be coming soon!