Both in and out of the office, on and off the mat…

I am working at cultivating a space that encourages radical authenticity, passion and momemtum towards positive growth and development.  Maybe this just sounds like yoga but maybe that’s my point. You are what you eat. So part of making myself and my life a better space to “be” in involves contributing to the greater space right? Working to send out as much good as I can is just part of the bigger equation and that’s what draws me to community service.  This year, I’m committed to taking my friends with me!  Look for monthly posts logging our adventures in animal rights and rescue, environmental projects, social interaction and local support efforts, etc.  But to start, here’s a look at an organization I’ve been volunteering with for the last year and have fallen head over heels for:


My Work with Northwest Harvest

Northwest Harvest is an important organization that is working for a cause that I believe in. Most people don’t know enough about the HUNGER issue in our state:

  • Washington is the 15th hungriest state in the nation and in the top 6 where hunger is growing fastest.
  • 1 in 4 kids in Washington state lives in a household that struggles to put food on the table.
  • 1 in 6 people relies on SNAP (food stamps), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is severely threatened by budget cuts. Half of all people on SNAP are kids.
  • Hunger in childhood has been linked to significant health problems in adulthood. Families who lose snap benefits are more likely to have a child in poor health and at risk for developmental delays.
  • Research from the University of Washington has mapped the correlation of poverty in the Puget Sound area to obesity, which increases the risks of diabetes, heart problems and other illnesses.

They are the only non-profit food bank distributor operating statewide in Washington with a network of more than 360 food banks, meal programs and high-need schools. We provide more than 1.7 million meals every month and 26 million pounds each year to this network of emergency food providers.

Here’s a breakdown of how Northwest Harvest is making a difference:

Food distributed in Central WA 6.5 million pounds
Food distributed in Eastern WA 830,000 pounds
Volunteer Hours more than 110,000
Volunteer Hours equivalent to 52  full time employees
Pounds of food distributed more than 26 million
Meals per month distributed 1.7 million
Percent of food Northwest Harvest provides that is fruits and veggies 70%
Percent of food Northwest Harvest provides that is grains 10%
Percent of food Northwest Harvest provides that is protein 9%
Percent of food Northwest Harvest provides that is beverages 9%
Percent of people served who are children & elderly more than 50%
# of sandwiches volunteers make each Monday & Wednesday more than 1,100
Cherry Street Food Bank service as many as 5,000 people each week
network of hunger relief partners more than 350
Monthly visits to food banks & meal programs more than 700,000
Number of counties served in Central WA 14
Number of counties served in Eastern WA 7
Partner Programs served in Central WA counties 75
Partner Programs served in Eastern WA counties 40
Percent of children and babies we serve statewide 36%
Percent of seniors we serve statewide 18%
Percent of adults we serve statewide 46%
Number of Three Squares schools more than 40
# of food bags provided to kids more than 29,000
Northwest Harvest can provide a meal for 22 cents
Northwest Harvest can feed a family for 67 cents
Donated Food 60%
Purchased Food 40%
How many in WA struggle w/hunger One in six
How many kids in WA don’t get enough to eat One in four
Where does WA rank in US hungriest 14th hungriest state
Cents from every dollar donated that goes toward feeding people 92

So in a nutshell, they’re doing good stuff.  I volunteer there once a week and I love the people.  They are always kind, laid-back and engaging.  If you want information about joining the team just shout!  They have all kinds of shifts from bagging thousands of diapers on baby day to painting thousands of sandwiches in mustard and mayo on The Sandwich Brigade and their schedules are very flexible too.


community blog