Another year has passed so swiftly! It’s time again to give you some updates on what’s been happening and
officially launch our annual FOOD AND FUND DRIVE!
Our Community - First of all, 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 dried foods and some personal hygiene products. These are all so important and greatly appreciated. If you would like to receive our occasional email newsletters, go to our web site at www.orcasislandfoodbank.org and click on “Subscribe.”
Where Our Food and Money Comes From - Our Food Bank is supported by
organized nonprofit, state, and federal food programs, including Northwest Harvest,
TEFAP, and EFAP. But that’s only 34% of what we provide. Most of it comes from
you. 66% of our food and money comes from right here on Orcas Island.
Weekend Packs for Kids - The Weekend Packs for Kids (WPK) program begins its eighth year in the Orcas Elementary and Middle schools this fall. This collaboration between the Orcas Island Food Bank, Island Market, and Orcas Island School District provides non-perishable, child-friendly foods weekly in discreet bags to children who have little food over the weekend. The weekend packs consist of food
items children can prepare if their parents are at work or unavailable on days that
school breakfast and lunch are not provided. There is no application process for
students to register for WPK, however the demographic generally follows students
who qualify for federal free/reduced lunch (50%+ at Orcas Elementary). Volunteers
(including high school students) organize and distribute the bags weekly. We saw a
slight decrease in families using this program in 2017-18, but still consistently
distributed 30-35 bags/week.
An “Everybody Wins” Program with Island Market -Produce adds color, choice and nutrition to the plates of our Island friends, and for about six months we’ve been gathering produce twice a week from Island Market. There is no cost, so the Food Bank is able to stretch its dollars. And, Island Market previously had to pay to dispose of unsold produce and other perishables, which generate methane, a greenhouse gas, if sent to a land fill. Truly, everyone wins with this program. Despite their very busy summer schedule, the market’s manage-ment and staff have enthusiastically embraced this new partnership. With their help, adding produce to our offerings has become routine. We’re starting to add eggs and dairy, so more delicious nutrition is on the way.
Welcome to the Board Margie Bangs! Margie and her husband, Bill, have a long history
with Orcas Island but “officially” retired here about 3 years ago. “Community service has
been an integral part of my life since high school,” Margie says. She is also currently Co-
Treasurer (with her husband) of Emmanuel Parish Church, in which they are very active,
and on the MAG (Music Advocacy Group) Board. She says of the Food Bank, “Our food
programs provide not only food, but also social interaction and check-in for many of our
more fragile community members, improving community physical and mental health.”
We are very happy Margie is now on our Board.
We Couldn’t Do It Without Them! Our Food Bank Manager, Jeannie Doty, and awesome volunteers (who donate a monthly average of 215 hours) handle day-to-day functions and product acquisitions. They keep things running smoothly, serving an average of 362 households a month with important food staples, fresh produce and an assortment of hygiene items. And thanks to so many of the wonderful farmers and gardeners who bring fresh fruits and vegetables to the Food Bank as well as local businesses that provide breads and other fresh items.