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
(This is the second of a two part series. You can read part one on the White Center Quarantine Site here.)
words by Ari Robin McKenna
photography by Chloe Collyer
Last Thursday, while two large excavators dug deep trenches for lengthy sewer pipes at the White Center Quarantine Site, two County employees walked past on 112th, shades on against the midday sun and shoulder bags full of paper. David Daw and Bong StoDomingo retained the appropriate social distance from each other while Chloe Collyer snapped their picture. They’d produced public health information about the upcoming quarantine site, featuring Frequently Asked Questions–one of which has been echoing on this street for weeks: “Why were communities not consulted in advance of siting?” Continue reading White Center Quarantine Site: The Inefficiency of Delayed Outreach
words by Ari McKenna
photography by Jovelle Tomayo
Typically, democracy suffers when a state of emergency is declared, but White Center’s response to a quarantine site being prepared on an especially populous street has led to a mobilization uniting community members amidst a pandemic.
Early last week, King County declared a state of emergency as confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus began to accelerate, with six people dying from the disease north of Seattle and in Kirkland. While there had been an initial, temporary quarantine site for people traveling from China in Shoreline near the Public Health Laboratory (it has since closed), the county began announcing new sites where people could be isolated: Continue reading Community Comes Together to Question White Center Quarantine Site