Real People, Real Stories
Lea has been a dedicated, weekly volunteer for our NW Tacoma Food Bank for years. Each Thursday, like clockwork, he stops by our amazing donors at Tacoma's Pearl Street Safeway, and picks up a big load of bread and pastries to share with the many families served at NW Tacoma. Thank you Lea, and thank you Pearl Street Safeway!
She said, "The cold mornings and hot chocolate made the wait easier." And then she proceeded to tell me about how her husband died ten years ago from a massive heart attack.
Her life changed as a result of her unemployment and dependence on her deceased husband's income. The joys of shopping for food on a whim or buying things "just because" were over. She could not maintain her standard of living. She was forced to turn to the community.
Mrs. C. has been using the food bank as a supplement. She said, "By the time the 15th comes around, life is hard. I love the food banks. Monthly non-food related expenses hog the budget and make it tough to find extra money to put food on the table. The only option is to turn to food banks." -Contributed by Jason Reddock
Audrey & The Birthday Club
Meet Audrey! This adorable little girl celebrated her 6th birthday. Instead of bringing presents to her party, she asked her friends to bring donations for FISH Food Banks! With combinations of six dollars, six quarters, six dimes, six nickels, six pennies... Audrey collected $181 for FISH.
Audrey’s family--and guests--joined “The Birthday Club,” a movement that is a win-win-win for helping those in need of food, our children and our community. For more information, including fun party ideas, please visit thebirthdayclub.net
Jose & Lori
We are a happy, content, and well-adjusted family. We have been married over 20 years and are blessed with two beautiful teenage daughters.
Within the last month, we have had to seek the help from our NW Tacoma Food Bank once a week. I found myself quite humbled and emotional, as we were always able to sustain a grocery buying habit without assistance. All those years of volunteering and raising awareness for those less fortunate than most was coming back to me in full circle. Now, I was the person seeking this help from my community, and it felt like someone had kicked me in the stomach.
My wife and I want to volunteer and donate back to this food bank that has sustained us. We are so thankful that places like this exist.
(Jose and Lori not pictured to protect their privacy.)
For his 9th birthday, Steiner had 15 friends over, and asked for food bank donations instead of gifts. He delivered more than 140 pounds of food to our NW Tacoma food bank! Many thanks to you and your friends, Steiner! Talk about paying it forward...
"There are many in our community whose stomachs are full but are still hungry. They hunger for meaning in their lives, companionship, the need to give back. The volunteer opportunities provided by the food bank feed the souls of the many who take advantage.
I see teenagers who at school would never speak to one another become friends as they work side by side volunteering. I see retirees sharing their wisdom and life experiences with clients and younger volunteers. I see clients decide to volunteer out of gratitude for the food they receive and find their self-esteem raised through their work and dedication. The number of people's lives I have seen changed and enhanced by their volunteer work is astounding."
~Kate, Edgewood Food Bank Manager
Thank you FISH, for your prompt and friendly service this year! Our food drive went very well, and left the whole school with a big feeling of success. We are in the toughest, poorest neighborhood in the city, and it brings good feelings to these children’s and families’ hearts to know that they have contributed to a wider community.
Our kids hope that you can use the beautiful artwork on the boxes to help brighten someone’s day soon!
Ronn Johanson, Roosevelt Elementary
"I use the FISH Food Bank to help with food supplements. My food stamps were cut, and we are struggling to just get a loaf of bread sometimes. I am finding grocery shopping hard when trying to get all the food my family needs. How are we going to eat?
I have turned to the FISH Food Bank to get the food that keeps us going until another payday. When we are able to get ground beef or ground turkey, I can use these items to make several meals for the week. I do not think people understand what a frustrating time this is for many families.
I am thankful FISH Food Banks are here to help."
(Sherie is not pictured to protect her privacy.)
I live below the poverty line. And, like most people, I have a hard time admitting it. What is interesting is that, although I tend to hide my need for help, others sense it when I need it most. Going to the food bank humbled me. It showed me how important the service is and how many people relied on what they offer. I was given new eyes and a fresh perspective about charity.
Since using the food bank, I have taken on a renewed desire to give back to those who have given to me. I committed myself to volunteering my time and energy to sharing the stories of those who rely on food banks. I'm excited to make a difference in people's lives by assuring them their voices are being heard. And it's possible you can too. Get out there. Make a difference. Get involved. Believe me; you will feel great that you did. I do.