Donor Spotlight: Sam and Rosemary Selinger

Sam and Rosemary Selinger describe themselves as “almost local.” Still, after 41 years in Spokane, they’ve gotten to know the challenges the community faces—and they’re lending a helping hand. “Spokane has been very good to us,” said Rosemary. “To have the chance to do something for the community is really what it’s all about.”

Sam, a retired heart surgeon, and Rosemary, a retired speech therapist, have dedicated their careers to building healthier communities. Now, they continue that work through their philanthropy. Strong advocates of the belief that food is medicine, they are bringing healthy food to underserved areas in the Inland Northwest by supporting Second Harvest.

“I think what Second Harvest does is vastly more important than any of us realize,” said Sam. “The type of food you provide is very much linked to health in a lot of ways. Things now are segmented where we think about our health care, and we don’t really think about our food, but they’re really interrelated.”

The Selingers have supported Second Harvest since 2009. Both have been involved with several non-profits in Spokane previously and have seen how the food these organizations receive from Second Harvest contributes to their larger success. “Second Harvest is the engine of a lot of other entities,” said Sam. “A lot of what Second Harvest does, people see in another organization. It enables all these other organizations out there, so Second Harvest is really the secret agent behind a lot.”

“Second Harvest has a practical, well-established program that’s working,” said Rosemary. “It can make effective change without too much administration and certainly without huge cost—maximizing a relatively modest amount of money to have a great effect.”

Last year, the couple donated through their family foundation to support the artwork for Second Harvest’s Mobile Market bus. They have also facilitated multiple partnerships with local medical professionals to provide increased medical services to people facing hunger and to deepen insight into the effect of food insecurity on one’s health.

“I think Second Harvest is a key example of the generosity of people,” said Rosemary. “Kudos to the community, the big community, for giving the way they do. And then it gets passed on. It’s really the essence of charitable giving. Second Harvest keeps it going, and then it magnifies each time. It makes a difference.”

Thank you, Sam and Rosemary, for making a difference for people facing hunger in your community!