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|
|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.