Donation is Encouraged Year Round

Donation+is+Encouraged+Year+Round

Jasmyn Kroeze & Isaac Quijada Ciraiz

A line of people, ready to go grocery shopping. But not at Wal-mart, or any other big company. These families are at the Food Bank. Most people here are not homeless- many of these families are actually people you see out in public or at school every day. But you might wonder, if so many people are shopping here, how is there so much food to go around? Well, there are so many people who help the Food Bank, such as donating food, or simply helping to organize all the food that comes in. But, even with so many people helping, if more were to help, the Food Bank’s goal may be met- to help everyone have food every single day. There are many simple ways to help, such as donating money or food!

The Arlington Food Bank is open for donations year round, not just during the holiday season! In fact, since everyone loves to donate during Christmas, that is the time the Food Bank has an enormous surge of food to give to the public, which they have to spread around the weeks of December. Although the Food Bank is grateful for all the donations, they wish people could donate regularly throughout the year.

Those who wish to donate have to bring their items to the Food Bank to give to a volunteer there. Of course, it can’t just be brought in at any time because there needs to be someone there to accept the donation, but also because there are a lot of people who dump their trash in the parking lot of the Food Bank when they are supposedly bringing in their ‘donations.’ The best times to bring in donations is on Mondays, from 5pm to 6pm; on Wednesdays, from 5:30pm to 7pm; and on Fridays, from 11:30am to 1pm.

The Food Bank offers a large selection of food, not just canned food. Before the pandemic, people would be able to go to the Food Bank and shop like it was a grocery store. The Food Bank gets a lot of its food from small donations from the public, and shopping at 37 different stores in the state of Washington. Before Covid hit, the greater Arlington community had 16% of its population classified as food insecure. At this time, that number has jumped to 60%. . .  more than half of our community is food insecure. 

Before Covid, the Arlington Food Bank worked like a grocery story, where people can come in and get the food items they want and need. Now, they hand out pre-selected food to families that contain breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the week. It comes in a variety of foods each week.

For kids, there is  Meals till Monday program, also known as a “kid’s pack,” that has easy to make breakfasts, such as cereal and bagels, along with lunch and dinner. The dinners are simple dishes that children will not find it difficult to make, such as microwavable macaroni and cheese bowls. The packs also come with slightly larger meals to feed more. Along with meal foods, the kid’s pack comes with fresh fruits and vegetables along with little snacks, such as mini cookies or Pirates Booty. The children each get a drink for each day, which includes chocolate milk and regular milk (along with extra milk for the cereal). This program connects students with food through the school district. 

Some of the best ways you can do to help out the Food Bank is to volunteer because it helps out with man power and gets things done faster.There were many volunteers but they had to stop since Covid hit because they were more elderly. Food Bank Director Carla Gastineau hopes there would be more volunteers after the pandemic ends.

The Arlington High School ASB is focusing its energies on helping the Food Bank get a truck to take donations to neighborhoods. This will bring the food to people who can also have a difficult time getting to the actual building. If you want to donation to this project, please go to the Arlington Food Bank’s website