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Christina's story: Faces of Hunger

Christina's story: Faces of Hunger

Christina, 65, scrapes by on a very low fixed income. A disability forced her to retire earlier than she would have liked after working for seven years in elementary education in Spokane. Even though she lives alone in a house she owns, grocery shopping for one frequently is a challenge. “I don’t know how I’d do it if I had to pay rent or mortgage,” Christina noted.   Christina, who had been encouraged to go to the Tom’s Turkey Tuesday distribution,...

Help a local family at Thanksgiving

Help a local family at Thanksgiving

Tom’s Turkey Drive, a collaborative effort of Second Harvest, Rosauers Supermarkets and KREM 2, is a month away. Thanks to generous donors and volunteers who spent hours working at partner stores and assembling meals at the Second Harvest warehouse, more than 11,000 Thanksgiving meals and $66,728.99 (equivalent to 333,645 meals) was distributed last year to hungry families. Donors can purchase a complete holiday meal that feeds a family of four for just $20.  The bagged ingredi...

Official proclamation of Hunger Action Month

Official proclamation of Hunger Action Month

On Monday, September 11, Spokane Mayor Condon official recognized September as Hunger Action Month here in Spokane. To see the proclaimation, click here. SEPTEMBER IS HUNGER ACTION MONTH SPOKANE MAYOR SIGNS PROCLAMATION ENCOURAGING COMMUNITY TO TAKE ACTION TO SOLVE HUNGER It’s hard to comprehend that hunger exists in our communities, that so many people don’t have enough nutritious food to sustain themselves or their families. But hunger is real. It looks like&nbs...

Making a difference one person at a time

Making a difference one person at a time

When Colleen first walked through the door at a Second Harvest partner food pantry, she was living on the streets.  She needed food and a job. Penny, a volunteer, helped her land both, after noticing Colleen’s interest in plants and agriculture. Today, Colleen has a full-time job at a greenhouse. As winter approaches, it can mean tough times for people like Colleen, who depend on Second Harvest to make it through the coldest months. Dropping temperatures mean higher heat bills...

Investing in Groundbreaking Programs to Solve Senior Hunger

Investing in Groundbreaking Programs to Solve Senior Hunger

Originally published at FeedingAmerica.org A growing number of seniors are living longer, staying active and pursuing their interests, goals and dreams with uncommon vigor. However, more than 5 million seniors in America are facing hunger – a number that’s projected to double by 2050. Without consistent access to healthy food, many older Americans won’t be able to appreciate their golden years. During May, Older Americans Month, Feeding America is sprea...

Mobile Markets bring fresh produce to Hillyard

Mobile Markets bring fresh produce to Hillyard

Volunteers from Rosauers and the Northeast Youth Center are setting up early in a vacant lot in Spokane’s Hillyard neighborhood. It isn’t crowded, but they’re expecting several hundred people for today’s Mobile Market. Ron lives in Hillyard and volunteers in the neighborhood. He sees many people who need help, but don’t know where to turn for services. He’s here with a wagon to get some food for himself, but also hopes to spread the word to other people...

Fresh produce helps seniors facing food shortages

Fresh produce helps seniors facing food shortages

Jo Hayes, or Mama Jo, as she likes to be called, lives at Vintage at Spokane, a 55+ apartment complex on Spokane’s North Side. She comes down to visit with Second Harvest’s AmeriCorps team as they bring fresh produce and bread on their monthly visits to the complex. Hayes, 80, said she doesn’t always need the extra food, but glad it’s there when she does. She knows it’s a lifesaver for some of her needier neighbors.  "I think it does a lot of pe...

Summer hits hard for kids depending on school meals

Summer hits hard for kids depending on school meals

Kristina works long hours serving low-income moms at WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children), which provides state grants, healthcare referrals and nutrition education for new moms. As a mom who used WIC for her own children, Kristina was familiar with the program, and that made her a great fit for her job. However, all is not well for Kristina and her four kids, who range in age from kindergarten to seventh grade.  Despite working so much, s...

Volunteers cook hot breakfasts, stock pantries for Post Falls students

Volunteers cook hot breakfasts, stock pantries for Post Falls students

Mark Jones, program manager at Post Falls School District, has a busy week ahead. He works at four schools, including New Vision Alternative high school. While a majority of students qualify for free lunch, they don’t always get to eat it. “A high percentage of kids don’t turn in paperwork for reduced lunch – it’s a common problem nationwide,” he said. Reasons are varied – parents worry about disclosing income or other personal details on federal...

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...

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...

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.    ...

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...