Recently, Mayor Kathy Hayden and a team from the City of Sumner visited the Sumner Community Food Bank to speak with Anthony and John about the food bank and the unprecedented situation the community faces regarding the growing food insecurity in our area.
Originally posted in the City of Sumner Community Connection Online newsletter, she wrote the following about her thoughts on the experience:
Last week, Anthony Apeles and John Rader gave me a tour of the Sumner Community Food Bank. Anthony is the new executive director and John is chair of the board. That place is buzzing with activity. Volunteers were hurrying around to stock shelves, put together packs for kids and sort donations. By the time we were leaving, just as the Food Bank was opening to the public, a line was forming outside the door. It turns out, that line is quite normal these days. They’ve seen a 300% demand surge since last June. In February alone, they had a 26% increase in clients and 16% increase in households served from the previous month. Think about it: when you have to spend double or three times what you once did on gas, your food budget goes down.
Luckily, the community has stepped up too. The Food Bank received a 184% increase of product donations from donors, such as the Emergency Food Network and a 114% product increase from the anchor stores in the community. That means that all our major stores, plus some of our industrial warehouses, support the Food Bank routinely. So do you. Private, individual donations make up a big part of their support. We are very lucky here in Sumner, to have people like Anthony and John to lead the Food Bank, to have volunteers taking the time to help out and to have the businesses and individuals who support others with their donations.
Keep going! I don’t think we’ll see a drop in prices any time soon. Even as you’re groaning over your own bills, please remember there are others who are not just groaning but having to make difficult decisions with limited funds. They’ll continue to need your support as well.
Mayor Kathy Hayden
Thank you, Mayor Hayden! We hope to see you again soon!