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Second Harvest Kitchen hosts new classes for kids

Second Harvest Kitchen hosts new classes for kids

Two chapters of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Spokane County are spending lots of time at Second Harvest’s mobile Kitchen this year. A grant from Empire Health Foundation is funding two quarters of classes for elementary kids and two for middle and high-school students. Hands-on cooking sessions will include recipe demonstrations and sharing, food sampling and healthy food preparation activities. A final session each quarter includes a field trip to The Kitchen at Second Harvest. Cu...

Partner Spotlight: Royal City Food Bank

Partner Spotlight: Royal City Food Bank

Royal City Food Bank in Grant County serves about 600 families per month. It’s run by an all-volunteer crew, and some of them have been there 20 years. Royal City also hosts a clothing bank.  They've recently seen a spike in client visits, said Sharon Chesterman, who’s been volunteering at the food bank for 10 years. Most weeks, they serve between 125 and 150 families, but in January it was closer to 200. “We're seeing younger people, some homeless, but...

Volunteer Spotlight: Pre-med student spends year helping the hungry

Volunteer Spotlight: Pre-med student spends year helping the hungry

Interview has been edited for length and clarity. By the time Alicia Hughes graduated with a degree in neuroscience from Washington State University, she’d traveled extensively, spending summers in Thailand and Iraq volunteering with NGOs and working with refugee organizations. She said working with low-income families in other countries made her realize how similar people’s struggles with hunger and poverty throughout the world.  “These summers changed everyt...

Partner Spotlight: Lake City Community Church

Partner Spotlight: Lake City Community Church

Lake City Food Bank began out of a shed in a parking lot, says longtime volunteer and director Joyce Dexter, and today it regularly serves 300 to 500 families a month, and provides services like health care and help with job searching. Dexter has been volunteering since 2010. The site used to house a thrift store, and she worked there before it became a food bank. “Honestly, before, it wasn’t a population I paid a lot of attention to,” she said. “But as I got to kn...

Volunteer Spotlight: Milagros

Volunteer Spotlight: Milagros

Milagros is fluent in Spanish – this fall she used that skill to help clients at Second Harvest’s turkey distribution find their way around the large and often confusing Spokane Arena. Originally from El Salvador, Milagros was inspired to volunteer because of her father, who was killed in her home country. “I come from a place with a lot of hunger,” she said. El Salvador is plagued by gang violence and currently has a homicide rate of 103 people per 100,000, co...

Hundreds of disabled veterans get groceries at Mobile Food Bank

Hundreds of disabled veterans get groceries at Mobile Food Bank

It’s a rainy, windy afternoon at the Mann-Grandstaff VA Medical Center in Spokane, but the hearty group of volunteers setting out boxes of apples, avocados and potatoes isn’t deterred by the weather. They’ve been here all week. “If you can’t tell, we have a lot of fun doing this,” said Bill, one volunteer, as he helped a Mobile Food Bank client fill a battered black wagon with food. Tanya Jackson visited the Mobile Food Bank at Mann-Grandstaff to pick u...

Farmers donate test-plot crops to Second Harvest

Farmers donate test-plot crops to Second Harvest

Sometimes it pays to be across the road from an internationally-recognized agricultural company. Four local farmers donated test plot crops to Second Harvest in 2016, said Sarah MacPherson, food sourcing manager. “I think as more farmers try different growing methods we will continue to reap the benefits,” MacPherson said. Test crops are still-safe foods farmers grow alongside conventional crops as they hunt for new innovations like resistance to pests. Wilbur-Ellis, one o...

Bite2Go XL now in Spokane high schools

Bite2Go XL now in Spokane high schools

Second Harvest’s Bite2Go has expanded exponentially since it began in 2008 as the Backpack program. It now serves more than 4,200 kids in dozens of schools throughout Washington and Idaho.   Bite2Go combines the effort of Second Harvest, At The Core and community partners like churches, clubs, businesses and schools to give students weekend meals throughout the school year. These organizations help pay for weekend food kits and volunteering labor and transportation to put kits...

Charity Organizations Distribute Food in Quincy

Charity Organizations Distribute Food in Quincy

Credit: Columbia Basin Herald, Cheryl Schweizer QUINCY — Quincy charitable organizations, with the help of Second Harvest (and Microsoft), distributed more than 9,000 pounds of food to families in need Jan. 26. It was the first joint 2nd Harvest-Microsoft food distribution of the year, said Jack Eaton, project manager for Microsoft’s Columbia data center. The food bank, based in Spokane, and the Quincy data center are partnering for the second year to distribute food in...

Help feed seniors in your neighborhood

Help feed seniors in your neighborhood

Seniors at Mid-City are clients like Timofey. Without a regular source of nutritious food, his energy is low and he’s exhausted with a terrible headache. If he doesn’t get good food soon, his symptoms will get worse. Knowing where he can get help with food means so much to Timofey. Going hungry can compromise his immune system and elevate his risk of heart attack, asthma and congestive heart failure. Worrying about where his next meal will come from can bring on anxiety and pu...

Spokane transplant passes 100-hour mark as volunteer

Spokane transplant passes 100-hour mark as volunteer

Lisa is new to Spokane, and one of her favorite things about the Lilac City so far is the time she spends volunteering in the warehouse at Second Harvest. She’s at the central facility on Trent Avenue once a week, sorting produce and helping with food drives. “I just passed 100 hours, it’s very exciting,” she said, smiling. “My favorite thing is sorting the Bite 2 Go bags on the weekends. It just breaks my heart that there’s so many kids [who don’...

Homeless family bonds over cooking lessons

Homeless family bonds over cooking lessons

Crystal Cooper was searching for a local food bank online when she ran across the listing for cooking classes at The Kitchen at Second Harvest. Crystal grew up learning to cook, and wants to pass on the skill to her sons, now 15 and 16. “I’ve always loved cooking,” she said. “It’s just something I wanted to show my kids.” The family of four is currently homeless, living in an RV while they wait to be approved for a studio apartment in Spokane. &ldqu...

Kathy's story

Kathy's story

While many families are doing better economically since the Great Recession officially ended in 2009, some are lagging behind, especially those living in rural areas, small towns and in communities of color. Kathy, a Second Harvest client, knows that story all too well. She says people may look like they’re doing well financially because they have a running car or a house, but in reality, they are running on financial fumes. “You don’t know what’s inside. You d...

Beef Counts distributes millionth roast

Beef Counts distributes millionth roast

On December 7, Agri Beef and local beef producers marked an important milestone in the Beef Counts program. Volunteers distributed the 1 millionth serving of beef to a family in need during the monthly Mobile Food Bank at Grace Lutheran Church in the Yakima Valley. The very first beef roasts donated through the Beef Counts program were distributed at the site in December 2010. “It’s meaningful that we recognize this milestone here, where the first Beef Counts donations reached...

Tom's Turkey Drive helps offset medical costs

Tom's Turkey Drive helps offset medical costs

James, Kevin and Marcia don’t seem to notice the cold as they chat and rub their hands together in the morning air. They take gloves and hats from Numerica volunteers who walk up and down the line asking clients if they need them. “I’m a newly single father of a kid looking for some help,” James said. He's struggling to make ends meet and pay for school supplies and food for his son, 15, on one income. Kevin and Marcia are hoping the food they get today will he...

Volunteers spend afternoon helping Grant students

Volunteers spend afternoon helping Grant students

It’s 3 p.m. and dozens of Grant Huskies and their parents, grandparents and caretakers pile into the school’s multi-purpose room to check out Second Harvest’s Mobile Food Bank.   For the kids, it’s a chance to get free folders, granola bars and swag from Robert Martin, a United Health Care vendor who’s stopped by to encourage families to sign up for the company’s Apple Health plans. For their parents, it’s the difference between going hu...

Westwood students fired up about cooking

Westwood students fired up about cooking

It's Friday afternoon at Westwood middle school, and everyone has left the building. Everyone except the rowdy group in Mrs. Johnstone's cooking lab, that is; a persistent gang of 13 who've been coming since Second Harvest's Drew Meuer began a cooking series here. Meuer and nutrition ambassadors Kylie Pybus and Rebekah Deibler set out bowls of frozen bananas, strawberries, cartons of yogurt and a heaping bowl of kale, which gets a few doubtful glances.    ...

Bechtel Awards Second Harvest Funding for Childhood Hunger Relief Program

Bechtel Awards Second Harvest Funding for Childhood Hunger Relief Program

Second Harvest was recently awarded $14,400 from Bechtel National, Inc. The funds will support Second Harvest’s childhood hunger relief program called Bite2Go. The Bite2Go weekend food kit is tailored to elementary schoolchildren who face chronic food shortages at home. The Bite2Go kits are distributed on Fridays at six local schools and provide nutrition for four meals and three snacks to bridge the uncertainty of weekend food insecurity. The components of the kit are kid-friendly, eas...

Toppenish Fundraiser Auction Raises $14k for Beef Counts Program

Toppenish Fundraiser Auction Raises $14k for Beef Counts Program

TOPPENISH, WASH. – On Tuesday, October 11, local ranchers and feeders started off the Toppenish Livestock Commission fall round up sale with a $14,250 donation to the Beef Counts program. A 550-pound yearling steer donated by the Grant County Cattlemen was bid on and donated back to the cause 28 times before it was sold, with all proceeds going to the industry-wide program that gets beef to local food banks. “I’m really proud of what our industry has built through Beef C...

Borah food pantry to provide healthier food to families in need

Borah food pantry to provide healthier food to families in need

COEUR d'ALENE — Four 11-year-old girls, all fifth-graders at Borah Elementary School, spent their lunch hour Wednesday helping unload the first food delivery to the Borah Elementary Food Pantry at Coeur d'Alene Assembly Church. Several members of the partnership that made the food pantry possible arrived for the "grand opening." The partners include Borah Elementary, the Assembly Church, University of Idaho and Second Harvest Food Bank....

Starting from Scratch

Starting from Scratch

When Joe Astorino teaches kids about the role of fiber, he takes a square of carpet and coats it with a mixture of muddy goop. These are your intestines, he says, folding the carpet into a tube with the goop on the inside. Astorino is the garden manager at Pullman's Community Action Center. Partnerships with the YMCA and Pullman Public Schools give him ample opportunity to use games and illustrations to teach food concepts. In society at large, it's a confusing topic....

Donations sought for food drive to help hungry kids

Donations sought for food drive to help hungry kids

The Dairy Farmers of Washington and Fred Meyer stores are partnering on this year’s Northwest Farmers Fighting Hunger food and fund drive throughout June. The campaign aims to raise awareness and donations to help Second Harvest feed thousands of children who lack access to enough healthy food during the summer months. Read more.  Read more here: http://www.tri-cityherald.com/2015/05/29/3583845/donations-sought-for-food-drive.html#storylink=cpy...

Second Harvest's kitchen to bridge gap between hunger and health

Second Harvest's kitchen to bridge gap between hunger and health

Spokane, WA APRIL 2015 – Second Harvest is building a community kitchen to help move people in poverty from hunger to health and improve their self-sufficiency. Thanks to many generous donations from the community, Second Harvest has raised close to half of the nearly $1 million needed for construction and the first three years of program costs. A 1,700-square-foot corner of Second Harvest’s distribution center is being transformed into a teaching and production kitchen. Const...

Umpqua Bank, Second Harvest help Lidgerwood families

Umpqua Bank, Second Harvest help Lidgerwood families

SPOKANE, Wash. - Almost half of the students in Spokane Public Schools qualify for free or reduced lunches. That allows students to fill up at school, but what about when they go home? Second Harvest and Umpqua Bank are teaming up to make sure no matter where a student is they won't go hungry. Proper nutrition is critical to our survival. It's an obvious statement, but many take eating breakfast, lunch and dinner every day for granted. Lidgerwood Elementary School Pr...

Tri-City Americans lend a hand at Second Harvest

Tri-City Americans lend a hand at Second Harvest

Second Harvest had 14 extra sets of hands Wednesday as the Tri-City Americans put in 2 1/2 hours sorting and boxing onions, potatoes and cabbage at the organization’s warehouse in Pasco. The players, volunteering at the warehouse for the second consecutive year, put in a productive morning, helping fellow volunteers with 25,668 pounds of fresh produce. The amount of food sorted and boxed is a near record. The Second Harvest staff said the last time time they were that productive, th...

CrossFit Spokane Valley Hunger Games Food Drive

CrossFit Spokane Valley Hunger Games Food Drive

Thank you to our friends at CrossFit Spokane Valley and to everyone who participated in the Hunger Games Food Drive. Gym owner Dan Staton and member Brian Rankin pulled up to Second Harvest’s distribution center earlier this week with a trailer filled with cans and boxes of food that weighed in at 3,328 pounds. “It was our goal to get a personal best with the food,” said Staton, adding that this was the sixth year for the event. The Hunger Games Food Drive, which...

Second Harvest Helping with Children's Weekend Meals

Second Harvest Helping with Children's Weekend Meals

SPOKANE, Wash. – Children go to class to learn subjects like math and reading but some local schools are also worried about what life is like for students outside of the classroom. Counselors at Shiloh Hill Elementary slip bags of food discreetly into 50 student's backpacks every Friday. The bags contains kid-friendly foods to eat over the weekend that do not need a can opener or stove. A lot of work goes on behind the scenes to organize the meals at Second Harvest Food Bank...

Mobile Food Bank Visits School

Mobile Food Bank Visits School

Spokesman Review--Hunger is an obstacle to learning in school. For years, the government has addressed that concern by offering reimbursement to serve free breakfasts and lunches at qualifying schools. Now local organizations want to make sure children have food at home, too. At Lidgerwood Elementary School, a mobile food bank, weekend food kits and practical cooking and nutrition lessons are all part of a new program. “We asked ourselves: What would...

Second Harvest Benefits from Cars for Charity Partnership

Second Harvest Benefits from Cars for Charity Partnership

Second Harvest is one of several partner charities that benefits from your old clunker.    SPOKANE, WA--Nine local non-profits are teaming up this fall to get the word out about Cars for Charity, a program that's been around since 1996, has collected thousands of used vehicles – mostly old junkers – to part out for cash.   Right now is a perfect time to think about making a donation, and each donation goes a long way in helping out those less for...

Beef Counts program aims to help Spokane's needy famlies

Beef Counts program aims to help Spokane's needy famlies

SPOKANE, Wash.  --  The Washington Beef Community donated 1,000 pounds of beef Wednesday to help people in need. Organizers said it was part of the Beef Counts program that aims to help people who cannot afford food. KREM 2 partnered with The Washington Beef Community for Tom's BBQ forecast this year. Rosauers donated 10-cents per pound of beef sold to the program, according to organizers. Click here for news story video: http://www.krem.com/weather/toms-bbq-fo...

A Look at Hunger in America

A Look at Hunger in America

What if you had to choose between paying for utilities and food? Many Americans face difficult decisions like these. The recent Hunger in America study presents the current facts. One in seven Americans, more than 46 million people, including 12 million children, rely on food pantries and meal service programs to feed themselves and their families, according to a new study released by Feeding America, the nation's largest provider of charitable food assistance to low-income Americ...

Gap in Diet Quality Between Wealthiest and Poorest Americans Doubles

Gap in Diet Quality Between Wealthiest and Poorest Americans Doubles

The diets of low-income Americans have worsened in the past decade, even as the diets of the wealthiest Americans have improved, according to a new study that is among the first to measure changes in diet quality over time by socioeconomic status. Overall diet quality in the United States remains poor, said the lead author of the study, published Monday in the Journal of the American Medical Association Internal Medicine...

Vernecia's Story

Vernecia's Story

Summer is usually a time when Inland Northwest families can count on paying less for utilities because there are no expenses for heating their homes. But during a summer of extended high temperatures, families of modest incomes are spending way more money than usual to power fans and air conditioning units to keep their homes at a livable temperature. Vernecia, a married mother of four children ages 9 to 20, said it has been an expensive summer because of high utility bills. Her husba...

Janice's Story

Janice's Story

Janice never expected to need help with food. She had worked since the age of 16 and had been self-sufficient until four years ago when she had to go on medical disability. A condition called occipital neuralgia causes her to have severe chronic head pain 24 hours a day.    Janice, who has lived in the Tri-Cities since 1994, lives alone in Kennewick, but has children and grandchildren nearby. She struggles to put food on the table, since her income leaves her well below the pove...