Author: Eric Williams

A community of generosity

The busiest intersection in the Inland Northwest is where hunger and generosity meet. That was clearly demonstrated with this year’s turkey drives. 

All told, we were able to distribute 13,500 Thanksgiving meals to friends and neighbors in need in Spokane, the Mid-Columbia and Yakima Valley. We is emphasized because it took many, many hands to make it possible. Turkey Drive

First, consider that more than 1,000 hearty and giving souls helped us prepack each of those 13,500 boxes with 40-plus pounds of nutrition, and then distribute those boxes. A large portion of the food that went into those boxesfrom apples to stuffing, and from carrots to potatoeswas donated by generous farmers from our region. And, of course, each contained a large turkey. 

“It’s going to make Thanksgiving a real blessing.”

Frances picked up a Thanksgiving meal box at the Second Harvest distribution Monday in Yakima. She retired early because of a cancer diagnosis and lives with her son.

“This year, inflation has really gotten the best of us because we’re on a fixed income,” Frances shared. “And when I heard of this, I said, ‘Whoa. I’m going for it.’ It’s going to make Thanksgiving a real blessing. And everyone that donated, they are a blessing.”

Tom's Turkey DriveWhile the generosity continues, the need continues to rise; virtually every data point shows food insecurity has never been higher in Second Harvest’s 51 years of operation. For example, our quarterly surveys of partner agencies consistently show well under 10% of them not receiving enough food to share with people in need. However, in June and September this year, nearly a third told us they didn’t receive enough food. Our surveys also revealed that between September 2021 and September 2022, 45% of our partner pantries and meal programs served larger numbers of clients, many of whom had rarely if ever accessed a charitable food pantry.  

 The COVID-19 pandemic has become something of a benchmark for societal stresses, and the need was certainly high through much of it. However, local, state and federal governments surged large amounts of food into the system to help feed hungry folks, alleviating much of the pressure. But now, with the need far surpassing levels seen during the pandemic, those government backstops have largely ended, leaving huge meal gaps. 

Thank you for making an impact

Fortunately, the people of the Inland Northwest stepped up in a big way. Along with our partners at KREM 2 and Tom's Turkey DriveRosauers Supermarkets in the Spokane area, and Lamb Weston and U-Pull-It Auto Parts in the Mid-Columbia and Yakima Valley, we were able to distribute 40-plus pound food boxes to 13,500 families. (See a list of turkey drive sponsors and ag partners below.)

Tom Sherry, the semi-retired Spokane broadcaster and namesake of KREM Cares Tom’s Turkey Drive, frequently mentions that while the drives are important, Second Harvest is in the business of tackling hunger throughout the year. And when we say Second Harvest, we mean all of you—the incredibly dedicated volunteers and the gracious donors of food and funds—who make it possible. We humbly say thank you.

Second Harvest is honored to thank the following donors and sponsors for their generous support of this year’s turkey drives:

KREM Cares Tom’s Turkey Drive sponsors:

  • KREM 2
  • Rosauers Supermarkets
  • Amazon
  • BECU
  • Coordinated Care
  • Dairy Farmers of Washington
  • Darigold
  • Easterday Farms
  • Franz Bakery
  • Gebbers Farms
  • Grimmway Farms
  • Humana
  • Itron
  • Numerica
  • Starbucks
  • UnitedHealthcare

Mid-Columbia and Yakima Valley Turkey Drive sponsors:

  • Lamb Weston
  • U-Pull-It Auto Parts
  • AgriNorthwest
  • Amazon
  • Columbia Bank
  • Coordinated Care
  • Corwin Ford Tri-Cities
  • Dairy Farmers of Washington
  • Domex Superfresh Growers
  • Easterday Farms
  • Gebbers Farms
  • Grimmway Farms
  • Hanford Mission Integration Solutions
  • Les Schwab Tires
  • RDO Equipment Co.
  • STCU
  • Tree Top
  • UnitedHealthcare
  • The Washington Grain Commission
  • Yakima Chief Hops 

Feeding Eastern Washington and North Idaho

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