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Washington Food Coalition PO Box 95752 Seattle, WA 98145

NON-PROFIT U.S. Postage PAID Olympia, WA Permit No. 238

F

ood for Thought

current resident or

Washington Food Coalition Newsletter / Spring 2013

No one in Washington State should go hungry

WaFoodCoalition.org

These are rocky times. Money is short, resources are strained, and client numbers are increasing rapidly.

Working together for a hunger-free Washington

Save the Date for

Strengthen the Voice

Washington Food Coalition’s Annual Conference September 18-20, 2013 Make plans now to join us in September!

networking sessions. We also offer a variety of exciting

ach year, the Washington Food Coalition hosts its annual conference, the only event that brings together everyone fighting hunger in all of Washington State. Attendees will have the opportunity to develop new collaborations, share information about tools and resources, hear about new and innovative programs and services, and network with others who share in their commitment to alleviate hunger.

tours at local wineries, organic farms, and food banks as well as a bonus workshop on Wednesday. The event provides an experience that is both informative and fun!

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The conference will feature a mix of keynote, breakout and

Thanks to generous sponsors, conference costs are kept low and scholarships are available.

Come join us as we share ideas, learn together, and find practical solutions to common problems.

Hunger Action Day was a big, orange success!

These are problems the emergency food community has faced for decades, but they have accelerated in recent years. During this time, it has become increasingly clear why the Washington Food Coalition is so important. What organization in Washington State wholly and specifically represents the interests of emergency food sites and their clients?

Only the Washington Food Coalition.

Our Mission The Washington Food Coalition actively educates and networks with organizations that strive to alleviate hunger throughout Washington

Our Vision The Washington Food Coalition is the unified voice for a strong emergency food system

This newsletter prepared with funds made available by the WA Dept. of Agriculture, Food Assistance Programs No person shall on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, national origin, age, citizenship, political affiliations, belief, veteran status or sexual orientation, be denied employment or benefits or be discriminated against as a participant, administrator or staff member under this program.

Hunger Action Day 2013

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unger Action Day is an annual event hosted by the Anti-Hunger & Nutrition Coalition (AHNC) that brings together hunger & nutrtion advocates from across the state to join in a unified voice on the issues that are most affecting food provision in Washington State. The event is held in Olympia at the state capitol. On Friday, February 22nd, more than 200 people, including many WFC members, came together in Olympia to learn more about what’s happening in the legislative session, what’s happening with our priorities, and how we can fight for a more fair, sustainable budget to protect all families in Washington. There were attendees from more than 2/3 of the state’s legislative districts - a record turnout! There were also had dozens and dozens of online messages from constituents who couldn’t get to Olympia but wanted to speak up for hungry families. Between messages and orange scarves, AHNC made a big splash on a busy day in Olympia.

Sen. Ed Murray (43rd LD) kicked off the morning, followed up with great information from advocates from Statewide Poverty Action Network, Northwest Harvest, Food Lifeline, Children’s Alliance and Washington Budget & Policy Center. Nancy Amidei and Jen Estroff helped people get ready for their afternoon visits to legislators’ offices by guiding Advocacy 101 and Advocacy 201 trainings. It was a tough day to get through to lawmakers, and AHNC appreciates all the visits and your consistent voice for fairness for hungry families. We hope you’re committed to keeping up that steady, strong voice throughout the coming budget choices. Washington Food Coalition thanks our fantastic partner, the Anti-Hunger & Nutrition Council, for the content of this article and for hosting this important event. To learn more about AHNC, visit www.wsahnc.org


Don’t Miss Out on Member Resources “We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.”

Board Members

-Max De Pree

W

WFC Chair

e have several new member resources that we have developed and we want to make sure you don’t miss out on any of these!

Kris Van Gasken

Des Moines Area Food Bank

Helen McGovern

Emergency Food Network

WFC Treasurer

Yvonne Pitrof

Vashon Maury Food Bank

WFC Secretary

Nancy Wilson

Inter-Faith Treasure House

Roger Trapp

Rural Resources Comm. Action

Dan Speare

Rural Resources Comm. Action

Bob Soule

Chelan-Douglas Comm. Action

Peny Archer

Comm Services of Moses Lake

Scott Kilpatrick

Comm Services of Moses Lake

Connie Nelson

Spokane Valley Partners

JoAnn Rushton Hope Source

Lisa Hall

Northwest Harvest

John Neill

Tri-Cities Food Bank

Kathy Covey

Blue Mountain Action Council

Leann Geiger

Volunteers of America WW

Mike Cohen

Bellingham Food Bank

Joe Gruber

University District Food Bank

Kevin Glackin-Coley

St. Leo’s Food Connection

Robin Rudy

Tenino Community Service Center

Kellie McNelly

ROOF Community Services

James Fitzgerald

Sal. Army-Stop Hunger

Vicki Pettit

Coastal Community Action Program

Anthony Airhar Coastal Harvest

Hoyt Burrows

Central Kitsap Food Bank

Bonnie Baker

Northwest Harvest

Scott Hallett

Council on Aging & Human Services

Dorothy Palmer

Colville Confederated Tribes

Our Request: Increase Funding for Food Banks Why this year Washington Food Coalition is asking for an increase in EFAP funds

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uring this legislative session, Washington Food Coalition has led the ask for increased funding for the Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) in the state operations budget. EFAP is operated by the Washington State Department of Agriculture and is used to help food banks keep their shelves stocked, their lights on, and their doors open to help feed hungry families in need. For the last two biennia, we have been quietly struggling to keep up with the tide of clients who have been coming to our doors. Cuts to programs and services that help people meet their basic needs have meant that hunger is on the rise in Washington. In fact, according to the USDA, Washington is now the 14th hungriest state in the nation. Only 5 other states have grown faster in the number of hungry families than Washington. In a state such as ours that is rich in agriculture and technology, these numbers are simply unacceptable. Yet we have done our best to rise to the challenge of feeding record numbers of hungry families. With the help of EFAP funds, we’ve provided backpack programs for school aged children so that they have enough food to sustain them through the weekend when school is out. With assistance from OSPI, we have been a driving force in expanding the numbers of summer meal sites to feed children during summer holidays. When other programs in our regions have had to close their doors early or in some cases, for good, because the need has outstripped their budgets, those of us who survive have expanded our hours and redoubled our efforts to acquire food to meet the new families at our doors. And as we watched the number of client visits rise 35% since 2008 while at the same time saw donations from

the private sector fall off and state funding remain flat, we have done our best to find ways to make sure that no one who comes to us in need goes away empty handed. We have risen to this challenge without asking for additional help from EFAP, but we find ourselves at a point where we can no longer sustain this effort without an investment of additional state dollars. Food banks are running on the leanest budgets possible. Many among us are having to make the difficult decision of eliminating essential staff positions or forgo buying food to make up for losses in donations from a private sector that is fatigued of giving after over 5 years of a recession. With an addition of $3.7 million to EFAP, a 35% increase in funding commensurate with the 35% increase in need for our services, we can ensure that every client who comes to our doors walks away with the food they need to round out that which they have been able to purchase using their wages, Basic Food, and State Food Assistance. When families are fed, the adults are able to find and maintain work; their children are able to concentrate on their studies in school. Our communities are safer and better off by strengthening families as they work their way out of crisis and into self-sufficiency. Thanks to Christina Wong of Northwest Harvest and Katharine Ryan of Food Lifeline for their hard work supporting this request during the legislative session.

Take Action: Contact your state legislators and ask them to sign on to support this request.

About Our Board of Directors

The Washington Food Coalition is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors. In addition to managing their own emergency food programs, WFC Board members devote their time and energy to statewide efforts to alleviate hunger. Board members are responsible for determining WFC policy in human resources, planning, finance, community relations, and organizational operations. The WFC Board of Directors is elected from the coalition membership. The Board is representative of the state through the creation of 14 districts and the addition of six at-large seats. Each district elects two representatives, a Primary and an Alternate. Board members are elected to a two-year term in alternating years. Your vote matters! Every April, nominations are opened for Board seats that will be up for election in June. This year, we will be electing board members for all odd-numbered districts and 4 of our At-Large positions. Consider a good candidate in your district for this position of privilege, even if that candidate is yourself! Visit www.wafoodcoalition.org/about-member-governance to learn more.

Food for Thought A publication of the Washington Food Coalition P.O. Box 95752 Seattle, WA 98145-2752

www.wafoodcoalition.org/membership

Want ideas on how to best run your food program? Our Best Practices: Innovations and Solutions developed by hunger relief programs in Washington State manual will show you hundreds of ways to improve or expand the capacity of your program. This includes detailed plans for food banks, meal programs, distribution centers, and anyone serving hungry families.

to join our coalition and strengthen our emergency food system.

P 206.729.0501 F 206.729-0504 info@wafoodcoalition.org

Connect with us online to stay up-to-date on information about our member agencies, advocacy updatess, and resources to improve hunger relief.

Need training on how to ensure that the food you’re serving is safe? Our Food Safety: Insights and Information on safe food practices for hunger relief agencies in Washington State manual provides a full scope of training and guidelines to keep food safe and keep clients healthy.

Working with food donors? Our Legal Analysis of the Good Samaritan Act will provide reassurance to donors and enable them to give with a clear understanding of their protections.

Washington Food Coalition www.wafoodcoalition.org PO Box 95752 Seattle, WA 98145 phone: 206.729.0501 fax: 206.729.0504 info@wafoodcoalition.org

Protections Afforded by the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act Prepared by

Washington’s Good Samaritan Food Donation Act was enacted to encourage individuals and gleaners to donate food to charitable organizations. It purports to protect from civil and criminal liability individuals or gleaners who donate food products or make their land available to others. The Food Donation Act was enacted in 1994 in Washington. It was based on a model act that in 1998 was enacted into federal law as the “Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Food Donation Act.” While these food donation laws appear to offer some protection for individuals donating food, the actual liability protection offered by these statutes is minimal. The Act covers individuals and gleaners who:

Visit wafoodcoalition.org and read about the latest news on our blog.

Find us on YouTube, Facebook & Twitter

Coming Soon! Our Food Banking 101 manual will be released soon for our members. This manual provides an overview of all the basics and beyond of running a successful food bank in Washington State.

donate “apparently wholesome food” to a nonprofit organization; or

allow the collection or gleaning of donations on your land.

This means that if a person is harmed by the “apparently wholesome food” that you donate, or is injured while on your property, he or she cannot recover from you in a lawsuit. This does not mean, however, that you are protected from civil or criminal liability in all situations. You may be held liable if you: •

act intentionally to harm others in any way; or

are “grossly negligent”—meaning you knew that your actions would likely be harmful to the health or well-being of another.

Unfortunately, the application of the Act is further limited by the requirement that donated food meet the Act’s definition of “apparently wholesome.” That is: Food that meets all quality and labeling standards imposed by federal, state, and local laws and regulations even though the food may not be readily marketable due to appearance, age, freshness, grade, size, surplus, or other conditions. Accordingly, the Act protects you from liability only when the food you donate already meets all quality and labeling standards imposed by federal, state, and local laws. As a practical matter, the Act does not afford many protections. For example, foods contaminated with E. coli or salmonella are not likely to meet the definition of “apparently wholesome food” and, because of that, would not likely be covered by the Act. Similarly, a piece of produce that is putrid or decomposing would be considered adulterated under federal standards and also not be covered by the Act.

How to access these resources and many others: Contact Washington Food Coalition to receive your copies of these resources, as well as your official 2013 Member Sticker. Some resources may be limited to members only.

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Upcoming Events

Check out these upcoming meetings and training opportunities being hosted by Washington Food Coalition members √√ March 25th: Home Delivery Summit hosted by Seattle Food Committee Contact Sabrina Jones (sabrinaj@solid-ground.org) √√ March 28th: Food Lifeline’s Member Agency Conference Register at http://foodlifeline.org/registration √√ April 19th: WFC Board of Directors Meeting in Yakima √√ May 2nd & 3rd: Western Region Anti-Hunger Consortium Meeting in Oakland √√ May 10th: Northwest Harvest’s Annual Meeting Contact: partners@northwestharvest.org √√ May 11th: National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive statewide

See more trainings and events found on our online calendar at www.wafoodcoaliton.org/calendar Got an upcoming event to share? Let us know and we will add it to the calendar!

kin Fo od

WFC Vice Chair

Basics of Provid ing

Thurston County Food Bank

Food Ban

Robert Coit

Not yet a member? Become a member today! Visit

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WFC Immediate Past Chair

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2013 Spring Newsletter