Washington Food Coalition C/O Thurston County Food Bank 220 NE Thurston Olympia, WA 98501 Tel: 360.352.8597 www.ThurstonCountyFoodBank.org
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These are rocky times. Money is short, resources are strained, and client numbers are increasing rapidly. These are problems the emergency food community has faced for years, but they have accelerated during the past twelve to eighteen months.
CURRENT RESIDENT OR
During this time, it has become increasingly clear why the Washington Food Coalition (WFC) is so important. What organization in Washington State specifically represents the interests of emergency food sites and their clients?
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e! t a D e h t e Make the WFC Sav to receive our newsletters electronically! Conference Opt September 15-17th Email us at email@example.com or call us at 206.729.0501 to request to be on our electronic Newsletter mailing list. You receive all the same informational benefits, but will What YOU receive it faster Washington Food Coalition Conference and GREENer! Want It to Befundraising & money-saving Quick tips for easy online opportunities: Wenatchee Convention Center
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Tip #1:The Did 2010 You Know? fundraising $ FREE through GoodSearch.com WFC Earn Conference It’s easy ... every time you search the internet at GoodSearch.com, your organization earns money and the more you search,technical the more they make. tours and The conference will feature speakers, workshops, training, is looking yoursearches and we Add upCommittee the money generated from for all these can make a real difference to the people and causes that need funds most. time to network and learn from others in your eld. Flyers and registration Go to www.GoodSearch.com for more information. input for the September event.
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would also love your Tip #4:We Receive donations of technology products and information through TechSoup.com participation in theaorganization TechSoup.org offers nonprofits one-stop resource for technologyconference." needs by providing free information, resources, and support. Nonprofits can access donatedand/or and discounted technology products, generously provided by corporate and nonprofit technology partners. implementation of the Kathy McLaughlin, 2009 WFC Convention Participant Go to www.TechSoup.com for more information. conferencence.
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Thank you Northwest Harvest for your generous support of the 2009 WFC Conference. It made the event a true success.
Joe Gruber firstname.lastname@example.org Washington Food Coalition Kris Van Gasken email@example.com Annual Conference 2011 Sept. 14-16 in Wenatchee
Food for Thought
Newsletter Fall 2010 •www.WaFoodCoalition.org
Update on Advocacy A Summer of Speaking Up for Food
The 2011 legislative session in Washington stands to be one of the most challenging sessions in recent times. Just as low-income families across the state are struggling to make ends meet and our emergency food system is struggling to keep pace with the increasing need in our communities, the state too is struggling to Only the Washington Food balance its books as it faces a $3 billion revenue shortfall in the coming biennium budget. Coalition. Like many of our current troubles, this shortfall is due to the Great Recession we are experiencing, and lawmakers will have tough decisions to make when the legislature reconvenes in January. Over the past three years the state has already cut over $5 billion in programs and services, most of which are programs intended to help struggling families through difficult economic times like we now face. During this time member programs of the Washington Food Coalition (WFC) have seen increasing need like never before, making every food and cash resource available to us more important than ever. That is why the Advocacy Committee of the WFC has already begun laying the foundation for our work in 2011. The committee includes Robert Coit (Thurston County Food Bank Director and WFC Chair), Helen McGovern (Emergency Food Network Executive Director), Connie Nelson (Spokane Valley Partners Program Director), Kelsey Beck (Food Lifeline Public Policy Manager), Josh Fogt (Northwest Harvest Public Policy Manager) and Julie Washburn (WFC Executive Director). The committee is meeting regularly to share news, strategize and plan for 2011. As you know, the WFC’s advocacy was vital to the smooth transition of the state food programs to the Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA). This summer the Advocacy Committee has been building on that strong work by meeting with leaders in the department to share our priorities for EFAP, TEFAP and CSFP. We are working to ensure these critical programs are held harmless from funding cuts that Children’s Alliance Advocacy would limit our ability to get food to those in need. Camp October 18 - 20, 2010 We are also reaching out to state lawmakers over the summer, scheduling site visits Are you an advocate for children? Here’s a great to local food programs so they can hear from you about the need in your community opportunity to build your skills! and how they can help. We have visits scheduled for August in Grays Harbor County, Children’s Alliance is now accepting applications Snohomish County and Seattle and would be happy to arrange a site visit at your for their 12th Advocacy Camp leadership training program with your state legislators between now and January 2011. Just email or call at the beautiful Rainbow Lodge in North Bend, Julie if you are interested (firstname.lastname@example.org). Washington. They teach essential skills in media, Advocacy Committee members have also attended the Governor’s recent budget lobbying, and community building. This leadership hearings in Tacoma, Everett and Spokane to let her office and the budget committee training will help you become a more effective she has assembled know the important role we serve to those in need. Our programs public policy advocate for children and families. not only help people meet our most basic need, they also leverage the few state dollars Applications are open to adults in Washington we receive by pulling in food, dollar and volunteer resources from our communities. State who want to create positive change in their The state’s investment in food programs also brings in much needed federal dollars community, improve the lives of children and to the state, adding even greater value to the invaluable services we provide. families, and sharpen or learn new leadership skills. If speaking up for your program and hungry people around the state sounds Tuition for Advocacy Camp is $400 per person appealing to you, please consider joining the Advocacy Committee. You can also ($300 for Children’s Alliance members). email Julie to learn more about specific actions you can take in your community Applications are being accepted now, & there may or attend an advocacy session at the WFC Conference in Wenatchee. not be much room left! Applications available at
Mark Your Calendar for Advocacy Camp
www.childrensalliance.org, as well as by mail.
Advocacy is as simple as speaking up, so lend your voice and join us in this important work.
Don’t Forget! Renew your Membership! July 1st marked the beginning of a new fiscal year for Washington Food Coalition & a new year of membership benefits! Send in your 2010-2011 member dues so you don’t miss out on any of the new benefits in this new year. You can register online at WaFoodCoalition.org or contact us for a Membership Benefits Package today. New! Additional Member Benefits for 2010-2011: •Online updates •Online discussion forums •Monthly eNewsletters •Updates from Dept. of Agriculture •Member appreciation specials •and much MORE!
Focus On NUTRITION
Share the Knowledge: How to Offer Nutrition & Food Safety Information to your Clients by Kirsten Dahlhauser, Volunteer Nutrition Consultant
Nutrition and food safety education go hand in hand when encouraging clients to eat more healthfully. Whether you are shopping at a well-known grocery store or visiting Northwest Harvest on Cherry Street in Seattle, food safety and nutritionally sound diets are of endless concern. Educating clients on nutritionally sound foods and the importance of safe food preparation is not only important to emergency food providers, but also exceptionally challenging! We can all agree that the goal in helping clients eat more healthfully is to help these low-income families who are on a strict budget, since they often times do not have the time, energy or resources, to provide their family members with safe, nutritious meals. This goal can be reached with proper education, which will enable clients to choose the “right” (more nutritious) foods over the “wrong” (most convenient) foods. The aforementioned “wrong” foods, among a handful of other health concerns, have contributed to the increased rate in obesity and diabetes in the United States. Such increases are seen not only close to home in local food banks, but nation wide. Additionally, those clients who lack the understanding of proper food handling and preparation techniques may put their families at risk for increased health concerns that stretch even beyond the likes of obesity and diabetes into the realms of life-threatening food-borne illness. Although all of this is more easily said than done, here are some suggestions on how to provide nutrition and food safety education: • • • •
Offer live demonstrations on how to properly prepare nutritious meals on a tight budget via invitation to free classes. Here, clients may become more aware of the importance of healthful eating! Provide easily applicable information on food safety including, but not limited to: cleaning produce, identifying hazardous foods, proper handling and cooking of raw meats and proper food storage. Provide pamphlets, recipes, and posters that include easy instruction and pictures to clients during high traffic times. During these times, individuals can simply grab, transport and apply these techniques and recipes at home. Provide meal-planning tools that include education of the importance of whole grain-and-vegetable-heavy meals that are accompanied by small servings of lean meats.
In need of helping hands? Local nutrition students, facility volunteers and employees can easily organize these events and handouts! Events like these could greatly affect the nutrition status and knowledge in Washington State, thus building healthier futures for low-income families! Want to learn more information and ideas on practical nutrition? Contact Kirsten: email@example.com
Food Literacy: Connecting Food, Culture, and Community By Philip Lee, Readers to Eaters When was the last time you had a good conversation about food? Often, people talk about what they ate and whether they enjoyed it or not, but people seldom discuss how food influences the way we live, the way we grew up, and how we see the world. Yet if you ask your friends, it is likely that each will have a favorite story about a family meal, eating traditions, or a particular comfort food. These small personal and shared eating experiences add up to our rich and diverse culture. At food banks, we’ve seen reluctance among clients in choosing foods that are unfamiliar to their culture, such as bok choy, kale, or crusty artisan bread. We’ve seen recipes given out or cooking demonstrations offered to address the problem. What about adding a story time for food books? Books such as Paul Fleishman’s Seedfolks and Grace Lin’s Ugly Vegetables, while written for children, are wonderful stories for all ages to celebrate the connection between food, culture, and community. Michael Pollan’s Food Rules is another terrific book that can start conversations on cultural eating traditions among staff, REA volunteers, and clients. prom DER Abo This May, we launched a citywide AUBURN READS program, partnering with the Auburn Farmers Market and the o S t u e beco foo to EA t Auburn Public Library, using Omnivore’s Dilemma and the recently published Omnivore’s Dilemma for Kids as me d lite TER READ our selection. In addition to book discussions, there are film showings, author signings, farmer presentations, literactive p racy fro S was f ERS a a and culinary student cook-offs. These events celebrate local food innovations, such as the Auburn School fromcy, kno rticipa m the gounded to EA Nutrition Services program, which has one of the largest school gardens in Washington, including a T , is t wing nts of roun in 2 E he f wha our d up 009 RS 45-tree orchard. o 2) P 1) Ret We pro undatiot we ea food cu, so chilwith th Events such as AUBURN READS also raise awareness of hunger and obesity issues that e t a m u d l n i t a b m r 3) D lish l book ote fo of m nd w ure. W en a affect the local community, and get local citizens and businesses involved. Food issio n evel book s ab od h a king ere o e be d fam n to literacy can play an important role in the fight against hunger. Access to food, when l op e i o s t l e u i u a b e i r tf lie bo r ac ve et d paired with food literacy, can be a wonderful recipe for blending education and partucation ut foodood for y in thrter foodfood co that fo s can mes od neri al pr for chil ee w community outreach. c h o d ng w ogr c a i r h ces. A food bank client once told me that providing food assistance is a show of com ith ams ildren en and ys: support, but paying attention to how she eats is a show of respect. At www munit school about and th adult .Rea y org s, lib our f eir f s. Readers to Eaters, we believe that food literacy can lead to better eating ders aniz rarie ood ami habits, as well as a better understanding of cultures. ToE atio s, an syste lies. ater ns. d m Please contact us to discuss programming possibilities. by s.co
Recipes for Success
Innovations & Solutions Developed by Emergency Food Providers in Washington
Featured Recipe for Success: Need Food? Get Involved! From: ROOF Community Services
Are you operating a small food bank in a rural area or small town? Do you struggle to find donations because your service area has very few infrastructures in place? Do you feel stuck because your food bank is located in an area where access to food resources including grocery stores is limited and it feels like clients outnumber donors 100 to 1? ROOF Community Services, located in Rochester, grapples with these issues every day. Rochester is an unincorporated area of Thurston County about 30 miles south of Olympia. There is no public transportation, no large corporations or companies, no city government and very few social services offered in the area. This one-stoplight town has a population of 11,000 and over 50% of the children qualify for free or reduced price lunches at school. Because of our limited resources, the staff at ROOF Community Services have become very good at forming partnerships and soliciting donations. Hopefully one of these ideas will work in your community to benefit your food bank and its clients. Maple Lane School, a local juvenile detention center in Rochester, planted a garden with the intent of growing food for the needy and teaching the boys skills they could use for the rest of their lives. The inmates, who were eager to spend time outside learned about gardening and giving back to the community. The half-acre garden produced over 37,000 pounds of fresh organic produce for the ROOF Food Bank. Joining the local Chamber or attending community meetings such as Rotary or Lions Clubs can benefit your food bank as well. Be active in school events too. For example, Parent-Teacher organizations might offer to organize a food drive at a dance or in the school. School community information nights are a great way to advertise your needs as well. Ask school officials to speak to civic or extra curricular clubs about hosting food drives and make them class competitions. In the fall, have a “Food Bowl” football game against the rival high school where each school collects food during the football season. This would benefit two food banks in small communities. Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, and 4-H clubs and churches love doing projects that benefit their communities too. Don’t wait for the holidays to remind folks that there are hungry people in your community. Make it a part of what you do everyday. L Staff and volunteers are great advocates for the need they see on a thet us know daily basis. Once the word gets out about the needs of your food n e Recipes what you t h fo ewslett bank, you will be amazed by the support you will receive. er & r Success ink of
Food for Thought A publication of the Washington Food Coalition P.O. Box 95752 Seattle, WA 98145-2752 206.729.0501 / phone 206.729-0504 / fax www.wafoodcoalition.org firstname.lastname@example.org Board Members
Robert Coit, Thurston County Food Bank WFC Chair David Ottey, Emergency Food Network WFC Immediate Past Chair Kris Van Gasken, Des Moines Area Food Bank WFC Vice Chair Yvonne Pitrof, Vashon Maury Food Bank WFC Treasurer Nancy Wilson, Inter-Faith Treasure House WFC Secretary Susan Urhausen, Kettle Falls Community Chest Dan Speare, Resources Community Action Sam Knapper, Rock Island Food Bank Bob Soule, Chelan-Douglas Comm Action Center in send u Peny Archer, Comm Services of Moses Lake s yoursthis ! Linda Finlay, Comm Services of Moses Lake About Hunger & Resilience by Michael Nye Connie Nelson, Spokane Valley Partners JoAnn Ruston, Hope Source Hunger is as old as history, and is wrapped into our genes as Lisa Hall, Northwest Harvest the great impulse to survive. Everyone knows the boundary John Neill, Tri-Cities Food Bank between hunger and satisfaction. However, for many of us in Chris Gerke, Cascade Blue Mountain Food Share this country of abundance, it is difficult to imagine someone Kathy Covey, Blue Mountain Action Council so hungry and weak they would cry or lose the desire to live. Wendy Gonzalez, Helpline Walla Walla This exhibition is about the experience of hunger. The stories Bill Humphreys, Volunteers of America WW are not intended to summarize or explain anyone’s life. There Mike Cohen, Bellingham Food Bank are too many ways a voice can turn. Many of the people I have Joe Gruber, University District Food Bank met have struggled to find the right words to describe the Helen McGovern, Emergency Food Network weight of responsibility, loss, kindness and dignity. Sometimes when I mention I’ve been working on a project on Kevin Glackin-Coley, St. Leo’s Food Connection hunger, people look at me oddly and ask, “In what country”? Robin Rudy, Tenino Community Service Center After spending 4 1/2 years traveling around this country, Kellie McNelly, ROOF Community Services listening, the reasons for hunger are not so simple: mental illness, drug and alcohol addiction, severe James Fitzgerald, Sal. Army-Stop Hunger physical injuries, old age, lack of education, job loss, mistakes, teenage pregnancy, health related Vicki Pettit, Coastal Community Action Program illnesses, crime, sexual abuse, incarceration, chance, natural disasters, war, childhood neglect and Anthony Airhart, Coastal Harvest generational poverty. Explanations and solutions are profoundly complex. Hoyt Burrows, Central Kitsap Food Bank People die and no one remembers their stories. Everyone in this exhibit knows something important Marilyn Gremse, Bainbridge Island Help House and valuable, a wisdom about their experience that only they know. The fifty individuals represented Bonnie Baker, Northwest Harvest in “Hunger” are teachers – and we are students. Stories are places where empathy and understanding begin. Scott Hallett, Council on Aging & Human Services “Hunger” has immense short and long term implications, including malnutrition and starvation. Christine Kiehl, Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe Emotionally, it can impact every aspect of one’s identity, vitality, and psychological well-being. Many Shayne Kraemer, Meals Partnership have described the experience as “blinding” and worse than they ever imagined. What we are given, what is planted in the first fields in our lives can be deeply mysterious in its generosity or insufficiencies. The poor in our communities are often the least heard and the most forgotten. Mission Statement: The Washington I have been profoundly inspired by each participant, as well as food banks, soup kitchens, charitable State Food Coalition actively educates organizations, churches, individuals, volunteers, and so many leaders and helpers giving unselfishly. I have felt with even a greater conviction that we all need to speak of the essential needs of our human and networks with organizations that family, and grow in our understanding of how difficult life is for so many in our country. These stories strive to alleviate hunger throughout are about all of us as we live with our uncertainties and the realization that we too could experience Washington State. hunger. Listening is another way of seeing. It has been a privilege to have these passionate conversations. It ____________________________________________ has changed me. I tried to honor each story by being faithful to its spirit and the way it was spoken. Hunger is an issue of human rights. Everyone has the right to be heard, to be listened to, and to This newsletter prepared with funds made available receive help when hungry. by the WA Dept. of Community Trade and Economic Development, office of Community Development. HUNGER: A desire, strong wanting, craving, longing, lust, wishing, yearning, famine, pangs, starvation, voracity, insatiable, ravenous, complex sensation, discomfort, weakness, malnutrition, insecure, balanced No person shall on the basis of race, color, religion, anxiety, nutrient deficiencies and pain and suffering. sex, handicap, national origin, age, citizenship, political affiliations, belief, veteran status or sexual Michael Nye - keynote speaker of the 2010 Washington Food Coalition Conference orientation, be denied employment or benefits or be Learn more about Michael Nye’s exhibit at www.MichaelNye.org discriminated against as a participant, administrator or staff member under this program.
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This Fall, our newsletter looks into advocacy, nutrition, and other articles that effect emergency food providers.