Bank. He also uses his talents and love of fellow human beings at the Odd Fellows, volunteering at the Senior Center where he drives friends to Seattle and Burlington for shopping trips, and the Orcas Center where he’s been house manager and does bar service at events. He’s also been seen helping at OPAL fundraisers. He’s one of OPAL’s happy renters. Ezekiel was born in Stockton, CA, lived in Idaho about 15 years, then was “reborn” in Seattle before he came here at the urging of a friend who just knew in his bones that he would feel at home on Orcas for the rest of his life. We, and clients of the food bank, are grateful he did.
We continue to provide an average of 90 families a week with food and other items they need to augment daily nutritional and personal needs for themselves and their families. Our undying gratitude is extended to all of you who help make this possible.
Food Bank Bits and Bites!
The Orcas Island Food Bank loves sharing its news and people with our wonderful community! Here’s what’s been happening lately…
Island Market - If you contributed to Island Market’s $10 Food Bank Grocery Bag during the Holidays, you were part of $3,343 the Food Bank has received in wholesale food items from the Market! Thanks so much for your participation, and we always are grateful to Island Market which is a major contributing partner of the Food Bank all year long.
Winter Snow - In spite of many inches of snow that fell in mid-February, the Food Bank was able to open on Tuesday, February 12 at noon because of its amazing staff. Our Manager, Jeannie Doty, was supported by several volunteers who lived nearby and able to make it in for distribution. And Ron Griffin cleared the parking lot so 27 families could come during that time. The following Thursday we did not open because of ice and optimal safety for our clients and volunteers. Also because of the snow, the marathon race that was supposed to run that week was cancelled, and the organizers generously donated all of the perishables that would have otherwise gone to waste to our Food Bank! Lunch meats, bacon and breads were among many items in the trove of food treasures. And the generator we installed a short time ago came through like a trooper keeping the freezers going uninterrupted through the outages.
Out With The Old! When an old, donated freezer finally gave up the ghost recently, we were able to buy another, brand new 21-cubic-foot upright freezer out of generous yearend donations. It will be used primarily to keep our breads fresh.
Some Organizational News - Our Board Chair Susan McBain and Manager Jeannie visited the Bellingham Food Bank in late February. Every food bank is different, and we were amazed at the scale of their operation (500 families a day) and pleased with what we can do because we're smaller.
Featured Food Bank Personality! We thought it would be fun to periodically tell you a little about some of the amazing volunteers that keep us going. Our first is Ezekiel Barr. For several years, Ezekiel’s post at the Food Bank has been at the exit door as clients leave. Here he collects the markers and often gives clients, big and small, a hug before they go. “I love them all,” he relates, and you know he means it. “My philosophy is love everyone and make them feel good,” he says. Words to live by. Ezekiel has been involved in the Food Bank a year or two after his arrival on Orcas in 1999. He’s probably the only Food Bank volunteer still with us from the days it was housed in a warehouse on Mt. Baker Road near the dentist’s office. With a background in the Hospitality business, he’s a natural for doing what he does for the Food
Can't Do It Without YOU! As always, a big thanks goes out to all of you in the community who so generously contribute food items and monetary gifts to the Food Bank. Only because of you do our clients receive ample bags of items, from meats and fresh produce, to canned and bulk dry goods, to pet food and personal hygiene products. These are all so important and greatly appreciated.