COVID-19 has had unimaginable impact on hunger across the Inland Northwest. Second Harvest is providing additional food supplies to longtime partner Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC) in Walla Walla to fill serious gaps in southeastern Washington because of the pandemic. BMAC has taken the lead on three weekly drive-thru distributions to ensure that people facing so many uncertainties right now get the food they need.

With a local church pantry closing temporarily due to COVID-19, BMAC has been hosting a drive-thru food distribution on Saturdays. More than 600 Walla Walla families have been served each week in BMAC’s parking lot. BMAC also added a drive-thru distribution in Burbank, Washington that’s serving more than 130 families weekly. In rural Columbia County, the local food pantry also had to close temporarily to protect its vulnerable elderly volunteers. On Tuesday, April 14, BMAC provided food to 158 families during the first of what will be weekly drive-thru distributions at the Columbia County Fairgrounds.

Thank you, BMAC, for going the extra mile to get food to where it’s needed most during this crisis.



Prepacked emergency food boxes are the new normal now and for the foreseeable future to help protect food bank clients from coronavirus. Shout out to Spokane Packaging, who donated 34,000 boxes to package emergency food as part of Second Harvest’s COVID-19 response efforts.

“Our company has been privately owned by a family in Seattle for 53 years. Since its founding, the original owner and now his sons have always taken pride in taking care of their employees and in addition have used their resources to help others outside the company in the communities we serve,” said Craig MacDonald of Spokane Packaging.

Mike Thomsen, Second Harvest’s vice president of food sourcing, has high praise for Spokane Packaging. “They stepped up without any hesitation whatsoever and responded with generosity far above our expectations.”


Second Harvest’s Mobile Market continues to find ways to get more emergency food boxes directly to people struggling through the unstable COVID-19 economy.

Second Harvest’s Mobile Market bus, trucks and semi-trailers were responsible for a combined 21 distributions that served more than 4,000 families this past week in the Inland Northwest. Drive-thru distributions took over uncommonly vacant parking lots at the urban Spokane Valley and Silver Lake (Coeur d‘Alene) malls, serving 1,025 families. Another 230 families received food at the rural Boundary County Fairgrounds in Bonners Ferry, Idaho.

It wasn’t easy for a Spokane woman to ask for help for the first time, lining up with 49 other cars at West Central Community Center in Spokane on Tuesday afternoon. Cecelia teared up as a volunteer loaded an emergency food box into her car for her and her husband. “I just appreciate everything everyone is doing for everybody. I just pray that it’s over soon,” Cecelia said of life during the pandemic.


Spokane Mayor Nadine Woodward visited Second Harvest on Tuesday. She thanked the National Guard for their essential role in helping to meet basic food needs in the community during the COVID-19 crisis.

To sign up to receive our updates to COVID-19 via email, please click here.
What My Internship Taught Me – November 3

What My Internship Taught Me – November 3

Food insecurity. It is a term we so often hear, but many of us never really understand because we are lucky.

We have never skipped a meal because we can’t afford one or questioned when we will eat again. But it’s a reality for thousands of our neighbors.

They have to make impossible choices about whether to buy medication, pay rent, keep the power on, and put gas in the car — or buy food for the week.

And while I knew that people around me were making these choices every day, I never understood it until working with Second Harvest.

read more
Focus on College Hunger – October 20

Focus on College Hunger – October 20

While college campuses aren’t the first thing to cross our minds when we think of food insecurity, the reality is most colleges and universities have students that wrestle with getting enough healthy food. Making ends meet is becoming more difficult for today’s college students. To help fill the void, we have partnerships with several colleges and universities in our region, where students can get food from on-campus pantries and Mobile Markets.

read more

Feeding Eastern Washington and North Idaho

Copyright 2020 Second Harvest. All rights reserved.