By Erin Freeman | Lynnwood Times Staff
Saturday, May 23 the Lynnwood Food Bank hosted its first-ever drive-thru food drive from 9 a.m. to 1 pm. People dropping off non-perishable items stayed in their cars while volunteers grabbed the donations out of the vehicle windows and sorted them by item type. Financial donations were also accepted.
The Lynnwood Food Bank collected 3,649 pounds of food and $4,250 in financial donations during the four-hour event.
Karina Gasperin began volunteering at the food bank at the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, after learning there was a shortage of help induced by a majority of volunteers taking a leave of absence due to falling with the age group with increased vulnerability to severe coronavirus illness.
“I came to the bank and I just fell in love with how they help our community. It’s amazing. For this event, we’re seeing people show up with whatever they have extra at home, said Gasperin as she explained the organization of the event. “It’s like a carousel where people drive through the point where we accept the donations, and then [volunteers] sort everything out at another station so we can be all ready to give it away next week.”
While the Lynnwood Food Bank regularly relies on ongoing donations, they team up once a year with the National Association of Letter Carriers for a food drive event over the second weekend of every May. During the Mother’s Day weekend food drive, Lynnwood residents leave food donations by their mailboxes, and postal workers pick up the food and deliver it to the food bank.
With the letter carrier event canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Lynnwood Food Bank Director Alissa Jones says that the need for food in the community is high because donations received through the letter carrier drive provides them with enough food to last them until the fall. New families are also seeking support due to the financial impact imposed by COVID-19 in addition to the community members the food bank already serves.
“We need the food to be able to distribute to our community and we know we live in a community that takes care of itself,” commented Jones. “We’re seeing so many families… we just wanted to try to get as much food as we can because our community needs it.”
The Lynnwood Food Bank is located at 5320 176th St SW, Lynnwood, WA. To learn more about ways to donate or how to get involved visit www.lynnwoodfoodbank.org.