Looking for a last-minute holiday gift? Consider donating your time or money to the Rainier Valley Food Bank.
The food bank has seen a massive increase in need since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic and has pivoted from in-person pickup to home delivery for many of their clients.
“The bulk of the work we are doing right now was invented at the beginning [of the pandemic,]” said Jenn Charoni, volunteer coordinator for the food bank. “All of our staff re-imagined their jobs.”
Now, instead of seeing a line of people snaked down and around the block at their Rainier Avenue South location, a fleet of volunteers currently drive bags of food to clients for home delivery, approximately 1500 per week.
A new partnership with Food Lifeline also distributes boxes of food by drive-through at the Rainier Beach Community Center on Wednesdays as well, which serves around 800 households. A lunch program also serves around 500 households.
“There is so much food coming in, going out now,” said Warehouse Manager Otis Pimpleton. He has been with the food bank for seven years and seen the need grow. “It’s been pretty progressive each year.”
Jovon Wayne has been volunteering at the food bank on-and-off for the last few years. He said that the old way of doing things — clients taking a number, crowding around on distribution days, felt chaotic at times. “There is a lot of good structure now, it makes it easier on the volunteers.”
To find out more about different volunteering and donating options for the Rainier Valley Food Bank, check out their website at www.rvfb.org