On September 30th we expanded hours of food distribution to every week at North Helpline Bitter Lake. This was a huge relief to one neighbor when she discoverd we were open. She thanked us and shared that she only had three dollars to last her the rest of the week until the food bank was open next. The Bitter Lake food bank’s expanded distribution hours are every Saturday 10am-2pm. Previously, the food bank was open the first and third Saturday of the month. Now, the 160 neighbors who visit every distribution can more easily plan their meals.
Mike comes to the food bank from his apartment upstairs in the Senior Housing Assistance Group. Mike points out a few other senior housing and affordable housing units next door. He said, “Now that the food bank is open every week, many people will come. This means a whole lot to the community. Most of us live on limited income, and with the food bank we have enough quality food so people can focus on other expenses.” Mike commented, “the food selection was great today. It’s the best I have seen at the food bank.”
Our volunteer Georgia also lives in nearby senior housing, and she visits the food bank regularly. She observes somewhat incredulously what qualifies as affordable housing in Seattle. Recently her rent increased, and she thinks she will have to find a second part time job. Thanks to people like Georgia and other generous community members, our Bitter Lake location is thriving with support. Many volunteers have stepped up to keep the food bank running smoothly with its expanded hours.
Special thanks to Kevin Schofield for generously donating so that North Helpline was able to expand our cold storage capacity in September. North Helpline now has two brand new, large commercial refrigerators and a commercial size freezer for the food bank in Bitter Lake. Previously, food filled our seven standard-sized fridges to the brim. After a recent food distribution, our Bitter Lake food bank manager, Casey, celebrated having enough fresh produce, fruit, and meat until the last people walked through the doors at 2 pm. “Our goal is always for our last clients to have as much of the same experience as possible as our first clients, and with these new fridges that goal is a reality”. Every person who walks through the food bank door deserves not to go hungry and to eat nutritious food.