by Ronnie Estoque
On Feb. 23, the Rainier Valley Food Bank (RVFB) held its first open house at its new South Seattle location on 9021 Rainier Avenue South. Motivated by a growing need to increase its capacity and programming capabilities, RVFB purchased the property from Bonney Watson last year. The site is over 8,000 square feet, significantly larger than their previous site, which was about 1,200 square feet. RVFB has served the South End community since 1991 and was originally founded as Northwest Community Services before changing its name in 2008. RVFB’s previous location, which it had occupied for over 25 years, was located at 4205 Rainier Ave. S. The food bank was able to acquire and renovate their new building through corporate, State, City, and private donors, which included United Way of King County and the City’s Human Services Department.
Continue reading PHOTO ESSAY: Rainier Valley Food Bank Reopens in a Bigger Building on Rainier Avenue South
by Elizabeth Turnbull
After the pandemic vastly increased demand for food and other services, the Rainier Valley Food Bank announced, today, that it is acquiring a new building in South Seattle in order to expand it’s programming and better meet existing needs.
Continue reading Rainier Valley Food Bank Acquires New South Seattle Location
by Elizabeth Turnbull
As the food-centric holidays of Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and New Year’s Day approach, many Seattlietes are confronted with maintaining financial and food security amid the new lockdown and further deliberations over future federal aid.
Various food banks in South Seattle have seen an increased need for food in the community from the beginning of the pandemic response in the spring. As happens every year around this time, this need has become even greater in preparation for the holidays.
Continue reading As Holidays Approach, So Do Food Insecurity Concerns
by Carolyn Bick
It’s sunny, and beginning to get warm on an afternoon in early May, when people start to line up outside the White Center Food Bank. Clad in masks, they patiently wait an adequate distance from each other to choose food the National Guard is helping food bank workers distribute.
This outdoor model is the latest iteration of food service the food bank has tried, Associate Executive Director Carmen Smith said. So far, it’s also the most successful, she said. Usually, the food bank operates in a grocery store model, which allows patrons the freedom to choose their own items, and mitigate the stigma associated with needing to use a food bank. But once the novel coronavirus pandemic hit the state, Smith and her fellow food bank employees found that the inside of the food bank was just too small to allow for safe social distancing practices. Having volunteers shop for the patrons’ food was also a no-go, because it’s just too hard to shop for someone else, Smith said.
Continue reading South King County Food Banks Face Severe Shortages — And There’s No End in Sight
by Ben Adlin
With the city’s farmers markets having been shuttered for weeks and only recently beginning to reopen, some regional farmers have been stuck with produce they can’t sell. Now a collaboration between local businesses, farmers markets and food banks is working to redirect those fruits and vegetables to hungry communities across the Seattle area.
It’s an effort to respond on the fly to uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic and ensure food banks have what they need during the coming months. It also keeps much-needed income flowing to the Northwest’s small farms.
Continue reading Farmers Market Program Funnels Fresh Produce to Local Food Banks
by Carolyn Bick
Despite Washington State being the original epicenter of the novel coronavirus outbreak in the United States, the state has not released detailed demographic data around infections and deaths from COVID-19, lagging behind several states and counties throughout the country. King County released detailed demographic data around infections and deaths from COVID-19 on April 10, but the data is only from 51 percent of confirmed cases.
The King County data available shows that cases of the disease are highest among non-Hispanic Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islanders, but that deaths are highest among white people. This available data is not consistent with what other areas of the U.S. are reporting –– that Black communities are at a disproportionately higher risk of death from the disease –– or with what some local critical care providers are seeing on the frontlines.
Continue reading Lack of Detailed Demographic Data Around COVID-19 Has Serious Impacts for Providers
by Carolyn Bick
In a normal week, kids who rely on schools for their meals know they’ll receive breakfast and lunch on any given school day. On the weekends, those who need to may take home backpacks of food or ingredients for themselves and their families. Continue reading South End Organizations Step up to Feed Students in Need During COVID-19 Closures
by Susan Fried
Fridays are typically bustling at the Rainier Valley Food Book (RVFB). The final day of most people’s work weeks is just the beginning for Food Bank workers who hustle to unload and stock just delivered produce and toiletries. Continue reading Food Bank Benefits From Day of Caring
by Martha Baskin (this story originally appeared in Crosscut)
Take an easy stroll down Rainier Avenue just past Letitia and, depending on the hour, you’ll hear the sounds of Big Band music, hip-hop, reggae or even European classical wafting from a store front. Pause and you’ll hear laughter and animated chatter. The sounds aren’t from a trendy restaurant or club. Something different is happening here. Teens and adult volunteers are unloading boxes of a critical treasure that’s in surprisingly short supply for a city that prides itself on being progressive: food. This is the Rainier Valley Food Bank, a high-octane food distribution center whose mission is to provide healthy food for hungry neighbors. Continue reading How Seattle is Feeding the Hungry This Winter