Second Harvest’s expanded partnership with Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC) in Walla Walla means more healthy food for hungry people in southeastern Washington.
For more than a quarter of a century, Second Harvest has provided donated food to support BMAC’s hunger-relief work. Now BMAC serves as a regional food distributor in the Second Harvest Hunger Relief Network. In that role, BMAC uses donated food from Second Harvest to supply 13 food banks, meal sites and other programs that feed children, families and seniors in need in Walla Walla, Columbia, Garfield and Asotin counties – where one out of seven people struggles with hunger, including one in four kids.
Jeff Mathias, Food Bank Director and Kathy Covey, CEO of BMAC
“This raises our partnership to a new level,” said Kathy Covey, BMAC’s chief executive officer. “This will help us raise awareness and increase response to the problems of hunger and food insecurity in Walla Walla and southeastern Washington.”
As one of several community action programs in Washington, BMAC strives to meet the basic needs of low-income people. The multipurpose organization does this by offering food assistance and a wide range of other vital services – housing, job training, adult literacy, support for veteran families, home weatherization, minor home repair, energy assistance, pro bono lawyer referral, asset building and more – to the most in need in the southeastern corner of the state.
“Second Harvest shares Blue Mountain Action Council’s passion for helping hungry people and this is an opportunity for us to dig in and do more together,” said Jason Clark, president and CEO of Second Harvest.
Half of the food that Second Harvest distributes is fresh fruits and vegetables. Second Harvest will leverage the increased collaboration with BMAC to get more of this nutrient-rich fresh food to people in need.
Second Harvest also looks forward to connecting other programs with BMAC to enhance services or help fill any unmet needs. This includes Bite 2 Go, which provides nutritious food over the weekend to vulnerable schoolchildren, as well as ramping up efforts to teach low-income families how to eat well on a budget.
“Anytime we can streamline how we work and use efficiencies of size and knowledge to help more people, I’m excited about it,” said Jeff Mathias, food bank director at BMAC.