Mike McGinn (former Mayor)
12/14/2011 12:35:00 PM
Beth Hester (206) 612-0908
Mayor calls on residents to donate to area food banks
Donations down by 30% in last four years
Mayor Mike McGinn today called on Seattle residents to donate food, money and volunteer time to local food banks, which are facing increasing numbers of clients and declining food donations.
Speaking at the North Helpline Food Bank in Seattle's Lake City neighborhood, the Mayor said, "As families and individuals struggle to make ends meet in a difficult economy, we want to make sure that no family, no child, no person goes hungry in Seattle."
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.
"As the holidays approach the need is especially acute," said the Mayor. "But food banks and food programs need your help throughout the year."