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Feeding Hope: Michelle's Story

Feeding Hope: Michelle's Story

The timing of the Mobile Market was perfect for Michelle. Earlier that week, her fridge hit 47 degrees. “I had to throw out everything,” she said. This isn’t the first time it’s happened. Her landlord hasn’t been helpful when she’s brought it to his attention. Michelle wasn’t only happy about having food in her house again. She was excited about all the healthy food she’d be getting from the Mobile Market bus, which was parked outside of a h...

Feeding Hope: Will's Story

Feeding Hope: Will's Story

When Will visited the Cheney Food Pantry three months ago, he didn’t think he’d be back. But he also wasn’t expecting to get laid off from his construction job. Will’s income helps provide for his two daughters, eleven and two, and his wife, who takes care of the kids while he travels throughout Washington for his work. But his wife has MS, which makes keeping up with their energetic little ones difficult at times. “She’s amazing. She doesn’t give...

Feeding Hope: Sharon's Story

Feeding Hope: Sharon's Story

Sharon was excited when the Mobile Market bus pulled up outside her senior living community. Sharon, 70, loves to cook with fresh produce, but on her fixed income, she has a hard time affording food—especially fresh produce, which she loves—each month. “My budget is very, very small. By the time I get my meds, it’s hard to afford food.” Like many seniors, Sharon sometimes must choose between buying food and paying for her medications. Both are important t...

Feeding Hope: Robert's Story

Feeding Hope: Robert's Story

“I see a good staple right there,” said Robert, pointing to the bags of potatoes being assembled for distribution by volunteers. He had traveled by bus to the Mobile Market and was one of the first in line. “You can make anything with potatoes.” Robert comes to Mobile Market distributions whenever he can, especially if his family of four is low on food. The Mobile Market provides enough food to get them through until the end of the month. Robert and his family...

Kids Face Hunger This Summer

Kids Face Hunger This Summer

We asked kids and teens facing hunger in our community to make three wishes related to food—no restrictions. Here are some of the things they said: For some kids, summer is a carefree time—a time to play with friends, to be outside, to make memories in the sun. But for many kids, summer is a time of increased hunger. One in five children in the Inland Northwest faces food insecurity at home. During the school year, they can count on free and reduced-price school meals...

Feeding Hope: Stephanie's Story

Feeding Hope: Stephanie's Story

Stephanie loves to cook. As a kid, she dreamed of attending Le Cordon Bleu – a renowned culinary school. Today, she still loves to cook, but it’s a challenge to afford enough food to feed her family of four. That’s why she came to a Mobile Market distribution in early May. It was Stephanie’s first time at a Mobile Market, and she was excited about all the food she took home to transform into meals for her husband and two teenage step-sons. Stephanie and her family...

Feeding Hope: Leslie's Story

Feeding Hope: Leslie's Story

Leslie waited in line with her son Wyatt for the Mobile Market in Airway Heights to begin. Wyatt sat in the grocery cart, but he soon had to get out and walk with his mom to make room for the food they received. The oldest of twelve kids, Leslie had to learn how to budget quickly. Now with six children of her own, two of whom are autistic, it’s still a challenge. Leslie cares for her kids at home while her husband works elsewhere as a caregiver. She goes to the Mobile Market wheneve...

Feeding Hope: Joe's Story

Feeding Hope: Joe's Story

Joe used to be the one selling food. Now, he visits his local food pantry to get food at no cost. For many years, Joe was a store manager at two major grocery chains in Seattle. He worked his way up the management chain after dropping out of college due to his family’s financial situation. Now 75 and retired, he lives on a fixed income and a small pension from his career in grocery retail. “I’m a pretty good money manager,” said Joe. “It’d be pretty...

Feeding Hope: Enas' Story

Feeding Hope: Enas' Story

Enas and her family came to the U.S. from Syria a year and a half ago. She’s still learning English, but she knows enough to check in at the front desk at Serve Spokane, her local food pantry and a Second Harvest partner agency. Enas comes to Serve Spokane twice a month to get food for her family. With two children, ages 9 and 13, and a husband, there are four mouths to feed. Enas’ husband cannot work due to severe illness, and she does not yet know enough English to find...

Feeding Hope: Marcy's Story

Feeding Hope: Marcy's Story

Marcy has quite the green thumb. It’s hard to name a vegetable that she doesn’t grow in her home garden. Squash, beans, radishes, zucchini, potatoes, peppers, tomatoes—she does it all. Even with this fresh food in her backyard, Marcy still has a hard time feeding her family each month. Marcy lives with her son and three of her grandchildren in Spokane Valley. She traveled to Airway Heights for a Mobile Market in late March to get food for her household of five. Marcy liv...

Feeding Hope: Joyce's Story

Feeding Hope: Joyce's Story

Joyce nibbled on the sample of breakfast potatoes distributed by Second Harvest’s Nutrition Education team at the Mobile Market as she moved through the line to receive her food. She followed behind her grandson’s fiancé, who was helping Joyce lift the heavy bags of produce into her wagon. Joyce, a senior, told her grandson’s fiancé about the event after reading about it in the newspaper. “She’s got four little kids that live with her,” said J...

Feeding Hope: Cynthia's Story

Feeding Hope: Cynthia's Story

Cynthia is no stranger to food banks. She’s volunteered as the director of her church’s food bank for the past two years. She’s seen the need, and she loves being there to help and support her neighbors during tough times. But the government shutdown has brought a lot of uncertainty for Cynthia and her family, and now she finds herself seeking extra support until the shutdown ends. That’s why she stood in freezing temperatures on Tuesday morning, waiting for the Mo...

Feeding Hope: Janine's Story

Feeding Hope: Janine's Story

Often, a broken leg means a few months in a cast and then back to business. Not for Janine. She lost more than her mobility when an accident crushed her tibial plateau, the top of the shinbone that connects to the knee and thighbone, six years ago. A healthy tibial plateau is critical for weightbearing, stability and motion. “It really changed my life. I had my own business, and I had a car, and all of that’s gone now because of my disability.” Janine was greeted wit...

Feeding Hope: Jessie's Story

Feeding Hope: Jessie's Story

Jessie would much rather have been volunteering at Tom’s Turkey Drive than standing in line to receive one of the donated Thanksgiving meals. Giving back to the community is her passion. But right now, she’s just trying to put food on the table for her husband and their 16-year-old son. Jessie has a vision of bringing the community together through her own event planning business. She’s done some event coordinating in the past three years and dreams of doing more. &ldquo...

Feeding Hope: Natasha's Story

Feeding Hope: Natasha's Story

Twenty-nine-year-old Natasha held her two-year-old daughter’s hand as she moved through the Mobile Market across from House of Charity in Spokane.  She drove in for the event from her home in Cheney. Natasha works as a home care assistant.  She’s a single mom of two, and her income isn’t enough to provide fresh food for her family.  She uses the food pantry in Cheney, but there are still gaps—which the Mobile Market helps fill.  This food distri...

Feeding Hope: Linda's Story

Feeding Hope: Linda's Story

Linda is excited for the “milder” winter this year in Newport.  She recently moved from Michigan—where winter starts before Halloween and lasts until April—to be near her daughter.  Linda is familiar with Mobile Markets; she attended one regularly in Michigan that was put on by another member of Feeding America—the nationwide network of food banks of which Second Harvest is also a part.  So when she heard about Second Harvest’s event in Newpo...

Feeding Hope: LaJean's Story

Feeding Hope: LaJean's Story

Millwood’s October Mobile Market was the first that LaJean had attended, but she was certainly happy for the food it provided.  She heard about the free food distribution earlier in the week from St. Margaret’s Shelter, where she lived in 2008.  LaJean decided to come to help feed her two daughters, son-in-law, and grandchild—all of whom live with her. “This is big for my family,” she said. LaJean has been a single mother since leaving the fathe...

Feeding Hope: Nicholas' Story

Feeding Hope: Nicholas' Story

Nicholas held 15-month-old Ember, his daughter, in his arms as he moved through the line to receive food at a Mobile Market in the Millwood area.  He attended this Mobile Market—his sixth in the past couple of years—because his family “could use a boost.”  And Nicholas knew he wasn’t alone in that.  Shortly before the event, he went door-to-door in his neighborhood to tell people about the free food distribution.  “There are so many peop...

Feeding Hope: Linden's Story

Feeding Hope: Linden's Story

Twenty-two-year-old Linden lives across the street from where the Second Harvest Mobile Market was about to take place on a sunny, fall day in Bonner’s Ferry, Idaho.  Bonner’s Ferry, self-proclaimed as “Idaho’s most friendly town,” has been home to him his whole life.  He stood in line for the free food distribution next to his aunt—whom he calls his sister—waiting for the event to begin.  Linden has lived with his grandparents since he...

Feeding Hope: Nichole's Story

Feeding Hope: Nichole's Story

“Little giggles are my favorite sound,” said Nichole as her three daughters chased each other in circles around their car in the parking lot of Canvas Church.  Tamara, 8, Catherine, 6, and Kenley, 4, were Mom’s little helpers as she picked up food from a Second Harvest Mobile Market in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho.  Nichole and her family used to volunteer at the Canvas Church food bank.  She wanted to teach her daughters the importance of serving others th...

Feeding Hope: Connie, Becky, and Harley's Stories

Feeding Hope: Connie, Becky, and Harley's Stories

On a sunny September day, Connie, Becky, and Harley stood together in the courtyard of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in St. Maries, Idaho.  They were at the end of a long line of people waiting for the Second Harvest Mobile Market to begin.  All shared an excitement about the fresh fruits, vegetables, and other food items that they were about to take home. The largest town in rural Benewah County, St. Maries is still considered small by many standards.  Home to less than...

EWU introduces food pantries to address student hunger

EWU introduces food pantries to address student hunger

Parents send their kids to college, hoping they will get a great education, but some of those students have more pressing concerns, like where they will get their next meal.  Now, Eastern Washington University is trying to end the problem of student hunger, introducing new food pantries all around campus. The campus held a kickoff party for the new pantries on April 24 and it included a pop up food pantry by Second Harvest. Second Harvest will be stocking the pantries around EWU....

Formerly homeless mom gives back to hungry families

Formerly homeless mom gives back to hungry families

Trishell grew up in Spokane, a veteran of Lewis and Clark High School, but moved to California after graduation. She ran into hard times there. As a single mom with three kids, she was homeless. After moving back to town, she found a temporary home with her parents. “We made do,” she said. “I paid off all my bills and saved up enough and I bought my home.” Today she works in finance and customer service. Her company volunteers at Second Harvest and she jumps at the...

Working families face rising costs of living

Working families face rising costs of living

Andrew and his family visit Mobile Markets to help put food on the table when money gets tight. The father of three used to work construction until he was injured on a job. Now he stays home with his three children while his wife works full time, but sometimes they still can’t make ends meet. “Society puts a big stigma on reaching out for help, especially as the man of the house. It can make you feel like you failed your family, like you're not good enough or you...

Christina's story: Faces of Hunger

Christina's story: Faces of Hunger

Christina, 65, scrapes by on a very low fixed income. A disability forced her to retire earlier than she would have liked after working for seven years in elementary education in Spokane. Even though she lives alone in a house she owns, grocery shopping for one frequently is a challenge. “I don’t know how I’d do it if I had to pay rent or mortgage,” Christina noted.   Christina, who had been encouraged to go to the Tom’s Turkey Tuesday distribution,...

Help a local family at Thanksgiving

Help a local family at Thanksgiving

Tom’s Turkey Drive, a collaborative effort of Second Harvest, Rosauers Supermarkets and KREM 2, is a month away. Thanks to generous donors and volunteers who spent hours working at partner stores and assembling meals at the Second Harvest warehouse, more than 11,000 Thanksgiving meals and $66,728.99 (equivalent to 333,645 meals) was distributed last year to hungry families. Donors can purchase a complete holiday meal that feeds a family of four for just $20.  The bagged ingredi...

Official proclamation of Hunger Action Month

Official proclamation of Hunger Action Month

On Monday, September 11, Spokane Mayor Condon official recognized September as Hunger Action Month here in Spokane. To see the proclaimation, click here. SEPTEMBER IS HUNGER ACTION MONTH SPOKANE MAYOR SIGNS PROCLAMATION ENCOURAGING COMMUNITY TO TAKE ACTION TO SOLVE HUNGER It’s hard to comprehend that hunger exists in our communities, that so many people don’t have enough nutritious food to sustain themselves or their families. But hunger is real. It looks like&nbs...

Making a difference one person at a time

Making a difference one person at a time

When Colleen first walked through the door at a Second Harvest partner food pantry, she was living on the streets.  She needed food and a job. Penny, a volunteer, helped her land both, after noticing Colleen’s interest in plants and agriculture. Today, Colleen has a full-time job at a greenhouse. As winter approaches, it can mean tough times for people like Colleen, who depend on Second Harvest to make it through the coldest months. Dropping temperatures mean higher heat bills...

Investing in Groundbreaking Programs to Solve Senior Hunger

Investing in Groundbreaking Programs to Solve Senior Hunger

Originally published at FeedingAmerica.org A growing number of seniors are living longer, staying active and pursuing their interests, goals and dreams with uncommon vigor. However, more than 5 million seniors in America are facing hunger – a number that’s projected to double by 2050. Without consistent access to healthy food, many older Americans won’t be able to appreciate their golden years. During May, Older Americans Month, Feeding America is sprea...

Mobile Markets bring fresh produce to Hillyard

Mobile Markets bring fresh produce to Hillyard

Volunteers from Rosauers and the Northeast Youth Center are setting up early in a vacant lot in Spokane’s Hillyard neighborhood. It isn’t crowded, but they’re expecting several hundred people for today’s Mobile Market. Ron lives in Hillyard and volunteers in the neighborhood. He sees many people who need help, but don’t know where to turn for services. He’s here with a wagon to get some food for himself, but also hopes to spread the word to other people...

Fresh produce helps seniors facing food shortages

Fresh produce helps seniors facing food shortages

Jo Hayes, or Mama Jo, as she likes to be called, lives at Vintage at Spokane, a 55+ apartment complex on Spokane’s North Side. She comes down to visit with Second Harvest’s AmeriCorps team as they bring fresh produce and bread on their monthly visits to the complex. Hayes, 80, said she doesn’t always need the extra food, but glad it’s there when she does. She knows it’s a lifesaver for some of her needier neighbors.  "I think it does a lot of pe...

Summer hits hard for kids depending on school meals

Summer hits hard for kids depending on school meals

Kristina works long hours serving low-income moms at WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children), which provides state grants, healthcare referrals and nutrition education for new moms. As a mom who used WIC for her own children, Kristina was familiar with the program, and that made her a great fit for her job. However, all is not well for Kristina and her four kids, who range in age from kindergarten to seventh grade.  Despite working so much, s...

Volunteers cook hot breakfasts, stock pantries for Post Falls students

Volunteers cook hot breakfasts, stock pantries for Post Falls students

Mark Jones, program manager at Post Falls School District, has a busy week ahead. He works at four schools, including New Vision Alternative high school. While a majority of students qualify for free lunch, they don’t always get to eat it. “A high percentage of kids don’t turn in paperwork for reduced lunch – it’s a common problem nationwide,” he said. Reasons are varied – parents worry about disclosing income or other personal details on federal...

Bite2Go XL now in Spokane high schools

Bite2Go XL now in Spokane high schools

Second Harvest’s Bite2Go has expanded exponentially since it began in 2008 as the Backpack program. It now serves more than 4,200 kids in dozens of schools throughout Washington and Idaho.   Bite2Go combines the effort of Second Harvest, At The Core and community partners like churches, clubs, businesses and schools to give students weekend meals throughout the school year. These organizations help pay for weekend food kits and volunteering labor and transportation to put kits...

Help feed seniors in your neighborhood

Help feed seniors in your neighborhood

Seniors at Mid-City are clients like Timofey. Without a regular source of nutritious food, his energy is low and he’s exhausted with a terrible headache. If he doesn’t get good food soon, his symptoms will get worse. Knowing where he can get help with food means so much to Timofey. Going hungry can compromise his immune system and elevate his risk of heart attack, asthma and congestive heart failure. Worrying about where his next meal will come from can bring on anxiety and pu...

Spokane transplant passes 100-hour mark as volunteer

Spokane transplant passes 100-hour mark as volunteer

Lisa is new to Spokane, and one of her favorite things about the Lilac City so far is the time she spends volunteering in the warehouse at Second Harvest. She’s at the central facility on Trent Avenue once a week, sorting produce and helping with food drives. “I just passed 100 hours, it’s very exciting,” she said, smiling. “My favorite thing is sorting the Bite 2 Go bags on the weekends. It just breaks my heart that there’s so many kids [who don’...

Homeless family bonds over cooking lessons

Homeless family bonds over cooking lessons

Crystal Cooper was searching for a local food bank online when she ran across the listing for cooking classes at The Kitchen at Second Harvest. Crystal grew up learning to cook, and wants to pass on the skill to her sons, now 15 and 16. “I’ve always loved cooking,” she said. “It’s just something I wanted to show my kids.” The family of four is currently homeless, living in an RV while they wait to be approved for a studio apartment in Spokane. &ldqu...

Kathy's story

Kathy's story

While many families are doing better economically since the Great Recession officially ended in 2009, some are lagging behind, especially those living in rural areas, small towns and in communities of color. Kathy, a Second Harvest client, knows that story all too well. She says people may look like they’re doing well financially because they have a running car or a house, but in reality, they are running on financial fumes. “You don’t know what’s inside. You d...

Beef Counts distributes millionth roast

Beef Counts distributes millionth roast

On December 7, Agri Beef and local beef producers marked an important milestone in the Beef Counts program. Volunteers distributed the 1 millionth serving of beef to a family in need during the monthly Mobile Food Bank at Grace Lutheran Church in the Yakima Valley. The very first beef roasts donated through the Beef Counts program were distributed at the site in December 2010. “It’s meaningful that we recognize this milestone here, where the first Beef Counts donations reached...

Tom's Turkey Drive helps offset medical costs

Tom's Turkey Drive helps offset medical costs

James, Kevin and Marcia don’t seem to notice the cold as they chat and rub their hands together in the morning air. They take gloves and hats from Numerica volunteers who walk up and down the line asking clients if they need them. “I’m a newly single father of a kid looking for some help,” James said. He's struggling to make ends meet and pay for school supplies and food for his son, 15, on one income. Kevin and Marcia are hoping the food they get today will he...

Volunteers spend afternoon helping Grant students

Volunteers spend afternoon helping Grant students

It’s 3 p.m. and dozens of Grant Huskies and their parents, grandparents and caretakers pile into the school’s multi-purpose room to check out Second Harvest’s Mobile Food Bank.   For the kids, it’s a chance to get free folders, granola bars and swag from Robert Martin, a United Health Care vendor who’s stopped by to encourage families to sign up for the company’s Apple Health plans. For their parents, it’s the difference between going hu...

Westwood students fired up about cooking

Westwood students fired up about cooking

It's Friday afternoon at Westwood middle school, and everyone has left the building. Everyone except the rowdy group in Mrs. Johnstone's cooking lab, that is; a persistent gang of 13 who've been coming since Second Harvest's Drew Meuer began a cooking series here. Meuer and nutrition ambassadors Kylie Pybus and Rebekah Deibler set out bowls of frozen bananas, strawberries, cartons of yogurt and a heaping bowl of kale, which gets a few doubtful glances.    ...

Vernecia's Story

Vernecia's Story

Summer is usually a time when Inland Northwest families can count on paying less for utilities because there are no expenses for heating their homes. But during a summer of extended high temperatures, families of modest incomes are spending way more money than usual to power fans and air conditioning units to keep their homes at a livable temperature. Vernecia, a married mother of four children ages 9 to 20, said it has been an expensive summer because of high utility bills. Her husba...

Janice's Story

Janice's Story

Janice never expected to need help with food. She had worked since the age of 16 and had been self-sufficient until four years ago when she had to go on medical disability. A condition called occipital neuralgia causes her to have severe chronic head pain 24 hours a day.    Janice, who has lived in the Tri-Cities since 1994, lives alone in Kennewick, but has children and grandchildren nearby. She struggles to put food on the table, since her income leaves her well below the pove...