In 1972 a group of citizens concerned about the hungry in their community opened the Puyallup Food Bank. Now, nearly 45 years later, that same organization is feeding 1,600 families a month.
The Puyallup Food Bank started out in church, moved to several different locations, and in 2011, the organization bought its own building at 110 23rd St. SE.
“It’s all ours,” said executive director Shanna Peterson. “It’s half paid for, and our goal is to have it paid off in 2020.”
Once the building is all paid off, Peterson says it will free up some cash to help better serve hungry families and residents of Puyallup.
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The only qualification to use the Puyallup Food Bank is a piece of mail to verify residency in the seven zip codes the organization serves: 98352, 98371, 98372, 98373, 98374, 98375 or 98360. There are no financial qualifications that need to be met in order to collect food from the food bank.
While fresh fruits, vegetables and meat comes from Safeway, Costco, Target, Haggen and Fred Meyer, food bank officials still rely on the help of the community for canned goods. With summer just around the corner, Peterson and her team are encouraging locals to donate kid-friendly meals to the food bank.
“Things like SpaghettiOs, peanut butter and jelly, pop top fruits, Easy Mac,” she said. “Food that a child could easily access and utilize.”
For many families using the food bank, Peterson says summertime brings an added financial burden of extra meals at home and extra child care costs.
“Summer is our lowest in-coming season for donations,” she continued. “People only tend to think of hunger during the holidays.”
According to Peterson, for every $1 donation, the food bank can supply $12 worth of food.
Attendance at the Puyallup Food Bank is by appointment only, ensuring that the nonprofit has enough food to go around. While other food banks allow customers to shop their shelves, the Puyallup Food Bank sends its clients home with bags full of food, ensuring everyone gets the same or similar foods to make complete meals.
For more information on the Puyallup Food Bank, visit puyallupfoodbank.org or call 253-848-5240.