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City of Seattle

December 15, 1:15 PM click here to comment > 3

Help needed as food bank donations decline 30% citywide

Yesterday Mayor McGinn visited the North Helpline Food Bank in Lake City to call on Seattleites to donate food, money and volunteer time to local food banks, which are facing increasing numbers of clients and declining food donations.

Mayor McGinn talks to Amy Besunder, Executive Director of North Helpline, Ron Johnson, food bank client and Cindi Berkovich, food bank volunteer, about why donations are urgently needed

According to the Seattle Food Committee, in the last four years, Seattle food banks have seen a 30% rise in the number of clients coming to them for help. At the same time a new report on hunger and homelessness by the U.S. Conference of Mayors shows a 31% decline in the amount of food donations in the area.

Those donations are urgently needed. The most needed items include protein (canned tuna, chicken, peanut butter), canned fruits and vegetables, fruit juices, grains (pasta, rice, macaroni), meals in a can (canned stews, chili), soups (beef stew, chili, chicken noodle,), and multigrain cereal (Cheerios, Cornflakes, Grapenuts, Raisin Bran).

Financial donations are also key and enable food banks to bulk purchase the items they need most as well as keep their lights on, their delivery trucks running, and their refrigeration systems in operation.

The City of Seattle has stepped up to help. The Seattle Human Services Department funds meal, food bank, food distribution, and emergency food systems support programs to help people who are homeless, homebound or have low incomes. The Mayor’s Proposed Budget for 2012 and the final 2012 budget passed by the Seattle City Council, preserved funding for emergency food. City-funded programs include:



  • Food banks: The City funds 17 of 29 food banks in Seattle.
  • Food distribution programs such as the Emergency Feeding Program and Food Lifeline.
  • Meal programs that provide meals to seniors, low-income and homeless people.
  • Food delivery programs that deliver food to homebound elderly and disabled people.

Hunger Intervention Program volunteers offer a cooking demonstration for North Helpline clients

To donate to a local food bank that needs your help, visit

Pictures by: April Thomas

Posted by: April Thomas


Comment from Carla
Time December 15, 2011 at 1:59 pm

Wonderful that you’re getting the word out. This article could be improved by providing a direct link to money donations.

Comment from ChelsieDweller
Time December 16, 2011 at 3:17 pm

Try to Donate and/or sign up to volunteer

Comment from Brian Arkills
Time March 12, 2012 at 9:50 pm

I encourage folks living in the Lake City area to get connected with your neighbors via