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Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Here's What's Working: A Food Bank Discovery

"I get nervous in Stockholm...everything works..."

--Man In Strange Glasses (played by Lou Reed), Blue In The Face.

Well, this ain't Stockholm, this is America and not everything works here. But I love my local community, I love it when I find something that is working, and I love talking about it.

So, after doing some recent pre-Spring cleaning, I discovered an enormous amount of new and packaged bar soap. More than we can ever use (a Costco double mistake on our part). My son and I decided donate the soap to our local food bank, the University Place Food Bank (connected with FISH Food Banks and Families Unlimited Network).

We have donated to this local organization before through the schools, however, we have never been there in person before. Going in person was the best thing we could have done.

We went to the wrong door with our donation and was directed to the right spot behind the building by a cheery volunteer. The food bank was currently open for business (Tuesdays and Saturdays: please see the website noted below for specific hours). We went into the "guest" entrance in error and the rooms were filled. We redirected ourselves (with help from the greeter) to the right place and saw that the volunteers were getting ready, coming, and going. When we arrived at the "store" I was blown away.

Fresh and beautiful fruits and vegetables were artfully displayed outside, much like a little outdoor farmer's market. Pretty spring flower bouquets were available, too and lined the path into the "store" filled with canned and dry goods, breads, even meat, eggs, and dairy. Volunteer workers were scattered about working quickly and efficiently. Smiles and soft laughter filled the room. We dropped off our donation and were greeted with a hearty thanks.

But I was the one that was thankful to see this place. Serving Pierce County for over 20 years, and a partnership with community, local business, and faith based organizations, this food bank is one of the few that offer fresh fruits and veggies, dairy, eggs, and meat. The goal is to have a lovely and dignified environment to shop for a supply of food to help folks in tough times in Pierce County. In partnership with additional programs in the center, there is tutoring help for kids and other family services serving the local community (zip codes 98466 and 98467 for these programs, the food bank is open to Pierce County residents). Interested in learning more or reading about how you can help? Please check out their website at or by clicking HERE.

Here's in celebration to the small things that work!

More to come, South Sound. More to come.


Stephanie Frieze said...

Thanks for the good news, Kim. I wish there wasn't a need for FISH and food banks, but there will always be people who can't or shouldn't work. It is unfortunate that the need increases as the rest of us feel less solvent, but I believe that what goes around comes around. The good you do, however small, comes back to you three fold. I am sure that your family will be blessed for your gift which was also a gift to your children by instilling charity in their hearts, Kim. Sometimes the good news can seem a little thin and I appreciate your post.

Kim Thompson said...

Thanks, Stephanie for your kind words! What I learned is the other day is that the causes that you care about you need to go IN PERSON and see it in action. Then it hits home.

We have many good works in our community. And I am on a mission to uncover them, small steps, one by one.

JosephMcG said...

I join you in celebrating the work so many people are doing and helping one another...


Lorraine Hart said...

Alright! I just read that Michelle Obama broke ground on the South Lawn for a "Victory" garden!