Expo Recap: Food and Hunger

The need for nutrition, reliable food sources for those experiencing hunger in our community has risen dramatically over the past few years through the pandemic. This week we heard from four organizations serving this need through a variety of ways and to a variety of populations. Joining us were Trail Youth, Alajawan Brown Foundation dba Alajawan’s Hands, Homage Senior Services, and White Center Food Bank. Watch the recording to learn more. From the Employee Giving Program website, you can find more organizations doing work in this area and make donations and pledges, set payroll deduction, or volunteer time. Remember – the PeopleSoft payroll and time donation options close on 11/18/22.

(Photo caption: White Center Food Bank feeds nearly 140 families each day and has a diverse population they serve. One thing that is important to their mission is providing culturally relevant foods to their customers and often ask for input from them on what specific foods would be desired.)

Trail Youth     EGP# 10828

The Trail Youth is a non-profit coffee home and roastery in North Bend, Washington. They want to serve the best coffee in the valley and serve the community by creating a space where everyone feels welcome. In 2014, the Trail Youth founders were on a hike on the Rainier Trail and noticed the words “worthless” and “societies trash” carved into a bench and side of a tree. After meeting the young people that lived there off the trail, they learned that this was how they saw themselves. They had lost hope. Trail Youth Coffee Home was founded in 2018 with a goal to create a safe oasis for those needing value, affirmation, purpose, and a future. At the Coffee Home, youth can hang out, learn new skills, and receive free drinks. In 2021, Trail Youth trained 75 baristas, more than 15,000 free drinks were served to youth, and 165 outreach events were held in the community.

Alajawan Brown Foundation dba Alajawan’s Hands     EGP# 10090

Aljawan Brown lost his life at the age of 12 on April 29, 2010. The mission of the Alajawan Brown Foundation is to continually expand the work started in the spirit of Alajawan Brown who selflessly gave of himself, his time, and resources – just to make a difference in the most important aspect of his community: people. The Foundation, doing business as Alajawan’s Hands, provides scholarships for children to participate in sporting activities or attend camps, who otherwise may not be able to due to financial restraints, backpacks and school supplies each fall, and community meals at Thanksgiving and other times during the year.

Homage Senior Services    EGP# 9845

Homage Senior Services serves older adults and people with disabilities by promoting independence, preserving dignity, and enhancing the quality of life. They have been serving the community in Snohomish County for over 47 years and each year more than 25,000 individuals benefit from their food and nutrition services, home repair, health and wellness, social services, and transportation programs. Their specific programs include Meals on Wheels, Transportation Assistance Program (TAP), Companionship program, and many more. The majority of people receiving services live on limited incomes, are frail, and are in need of services that help them maintain their health, independence, and quality of life.

White Center Food Bank   EGP# 9209

The White Center Food Bank began in the mid-1970’s as an emergency response to assist struggling families and individuals in the greater White Center and Highline areas during a major economic downturn.  Much like today, many in the community were facing difficult economic conditions that left them in need of food resources. White Center as a geographic area has been subject to many changes in its micro-economic climate from influxes and growth of various immigrant groups to periods of rebirth in its business core. Current programs include daytime, and seniors-only food distributions; expanded home deliveries; Mobile Food Bank Program for seniors and disabled clients; a Baby Pantry for diapers, formula, baby foods and more; culturally relevant food grown onsite; community demonstration gardens and P-patches, cultural foods buying program, and grocery rescue. Intake services are provided in seven languages, and all written materials are provided in six languages. In 2021, 83,702 individuals (25,629 families) were served.