Thursday, December 15, 2011

North Helpline donations down, need for assistance up

Iloya Martchyan, right, is given produce at the North Helpline Food Bank.

In these turbulent economic times of high unemployment and stagnant wages many are turning to food banks for assistance. However, Seattle-area food banks are reporting a dramatic drop in food and cash donations as the negative economic ripple pushes deeper into households that normally would help.

Donations are down by 31 percent, while need has increased 30 percent in the last four years, according to a recent U.S. Conference of Mayors study.

To highlight the need, Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn came to our neighborhood and visited the North Helpline Emergency Services and Food Bank on Wednesday.

The food bank provides basic essentials to people that are having a challenge covering their daily living expenses. North Helpline assists about 850 households per week, nearly double what they did two years ago.

You can donate to the North Helpline Food Bank here or drop off food items Tuesdays through Saturdays, 9 to 4, 12736 33rd Avenue NE.

Some of the items currently needed are: Protein (canned tuna, chicken, peanut butter), canned fruits and vegetables, 100% fruit juices, grains (pasta, rice, macaroni), condiments (ketchup, mustard, light salad dressings), meals in a can (canned stews, chili), soups (beef stew, chili, chicken noodle), multigrain Cereal (Cheerios, Cornflakes, Grapenuts, Raisin Bran)

Canned tomatoes

Canned food ready to be distributed

Linda and Howard Tomisser gather food supplies

Food ready to be distributed

Kate Murphy and David Ortiz give a cooking demonstration

Mayor Mike McGinn meets with volunteers


Television crews conduct an interview during the mayor's vist

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