White Center Food Bank Moves to New Location

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The Seattle Food Bank serves all residents within Seattle city limits by providing free food from its pantry or hot meals and access to additional resources like clothing, referrals, and LIHEAP energy bill assistance.

Baby Cupboard provides home delivery of crib-ready items, home-delivered toddler bags, cultural foods buying programs, and grocery rescue services.

Food Donations

White Center Food Bank sees many donations around the holidays, but some items become scarce come January. To address this need, the organization is appealing to supporters to donate pasta, canned tuna, beans and sauce, cereal, and more from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday or online.

This agency provides food from its pantry and hot meals free to seniors, families with children, individuals who have lost income, energy bill assistance, and referrals for housing, employment, and healthcare needs. Working closely with numerous food pantries throughout its service area as part of America’s Second Harvest network.

WCFB collects produce from neighbor gardens and Seattle-area grocery stores such as Whole Foods, PCC, Safeway, and QFC through its Gleaning program to reduce food waste while giving local communities fresh, nutritious foods.

The Food Bank will host a fundraising event to assist its transition to its new location, featuring food and drinks from local restaurants and caterers. Guests will be able to celebrate their neighborhood by coming together around something they all share: food! They may hear from senators, community advocates, food bank customers, and Kimnang Seng, who will act as event emcee.

Garden Expansion

The food bank serves roughly 80,000 meals annually to the community and plans on reaching even more with its new site. Jefferson Rose, Development and Communications Director for WCFB announced Friday that construction work on their further home south of 8th Avenue has started; construction walls can already be seen, along with banners informing passersby what this building will become soon enough.

The new West Central Food Bank will boast space for a garden, teaching kitchen, and community gathering room, among other amenities. This organization hopes to become the go-to place for food-related activities like nutrition education and culinary training classes.

WCFB plans to increase opportunities for local growers to donate produce. Their system currently involves partnering with several community gardens like Picardo Farm to funnel organically grown produce directly to organizations like Silvercrest Senior Residences and Sand Point Family Housing. However 2019, WCFB will implement a different model focused on long-term partnerships.

Pierre lives in White Oak, a majority-Black neighborhood near Silver Spring. She grows corn, watermelons, strawberries, garlic onions, peppers, and herbs for healing teas at her home. Unfortunately, the nearest farmers market is in downtown Silver Spring, which can be an unreasonable distance for residents relying on public transportation. One of Pierre’s goals is to establish a volunteer-run farmers market at their community recreation center where she would prepurchase produce at wholesale prices from nearby farms and offer discounts through SNAP programs.

Grocery Store Shopping Model

WCFB also utilizes grocery rescue as part of its efforts to reduce food waste. Jefferson Rose, development and communications director for WCFB states that approximately 20% of their stock comes from local grocery stores such as Whole Foods and PCC for this practice.

The new WCFB site is conveniently situated close to public transit, including RapidRide H Line service, which begins in March 2023. Furthermore, this organization has collaborated with other community groups in hosting events at their new space – “it will become an inviting community hub,” Smith stated.

Taste of White Center, an event hosted by 34 White Center-area restaurants to raise funds for White Center Food Bank (WCFB), offers patrons an affordable dining experience at 34 of them, such as Tomo, Puffy Pandy, El Catrin, and Salvadorean Bakery among many more. Tickets cost just $5 each, allowing people to simultaneously experience small plates, beverages, or desserts from these eateries! Tickets for the Taste of White Center cost $5 each, allowing people to experience them all!

One-by-one analyses of four binary logistic models revealed that individual socioeconomic characteristics and built environment features, precisely distance from home to their primary and nearest grocery stores, are the strongest predictors of people choosing nonmotorized forms of travel to get groceries. Space was considered the most influential variable. Furthermore, this model included variables related to employment density and street density, shown in prior research to support nonmotorized travel modes.

Community Connections

White Center Food Bank partners with Sea Mar Medical Clinic to create an on-site pantry to connect patients who face food insecurity with resources to combat it and alleviate dependence on Basic Food assistance alone.

As an experienced social services practitioner for over ten years, Cierra understands how food insecurity impacts communities. She suggests connecting newcomers with the existing culture of the community and capitalizing on existing assets instead of trying to “buy” the neighborhood itself. Furthermore, she advises those considering business in these neighborhoods to work alongside QTBIPOC-owned companies to learn to serve existing populations best while helping these businesses prosper.

Supporting local restaurants is another effective way to bolster food security. Cierra is delighted to see several culturally-based eateries opening in White Center, such as Tomo, Puffy Pandy, Salvadorian Bakery, and Southgate Roller Rink – she hopes that these establishments can work closely with the food bank so their customers can further hone their cooking and community-building abilities through these venues.

Safeway stores around Seattle have joined forces with the Food Bank to collect any unsold edible food they can’t sell and donate it directly to them – providing an incredible opportunity for reducing food waste while supporting those in need.