In February, St. Mark’s joined with 5 other churches in the north end of Tacoma to help distribute food at the NW Tacoma FISH Food Bank at Mason Methodist Church in the Proctor District. Twenty volunteers from St. Mark’s have devoted over 171 hours to help provide food to 4,734 people in need!  And those are just the days when our volunteers were scheduled!

The Food Bank is open for about 4 hours every Wednesday and Saturday. Since January, there have been 8,941 client visits who picked up food to help feed 30,423 family members.  About 2% are infants, 25% are between 3 and 18, 46% are between 19 and 54, and 27% are 55 and older.  In June of this year 41,919 pounds of food helped feed the needy.  A special THANK YOU these local businesses who regularly donate:  Pearl Street Safeway, Target, Legendary Donuts, Papa Murphy’s pizza, and the Tacoma Food Co-op.

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to the following people who have so generously shared their time with people in need: Art Campbell, Graham and Nicholas French, Robert Hasselblad, Mary Jo Holum, Linda Hulst, Shelley Hutson, Chris and Gary Kreis, Monica and Claire Lambert, Jan Larsen, Don MacSparran, Sally Ann and Allan McLean, Mary and Roger Olsen, Paige and Roger VanDer Vliet, and Mark Young.

Here are some of the comments volunteers have shared with me. “Everyone is so appreciative.”  “So many people thanked me for being here to help them!”  “Keep me on the volunteer list, I want to come and help again!”   “I had no idea so many people right in our own community needed food!”

FISH Food Banks of Pierce County is having a fund raising luncheon on Thursday, October 20th at 11:30 a.m.  I plan to attend and would enjoy the company of others from St. Mark’s who want to learn more about FISH Food Banks of Pierce County.  The lunch is free and a request for donations will be made.  Contact me by September 20th and I’ll make arrangements for us to sit together.

I am reminded of this verse from Matthew 25:35: “For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”

Mary Olsen, St Mark’s coordinator of volunteer scheduling, NW Tacoma FISH Food Bank    253 752 2844