by Kathy Moe, Executive Director
Food bank member “Kathy” was a special education teacher at the University of Texas at Austin. While trying to recover from surgery, her job was given to another teacher. It took her 15 months to recover while she lived on her teacher’s pension until it was completely gone. Later, she managed to get another teachingjob farther away; however, due to an extreme weather event her home flooded. FEMA condemned all the homes in the area and she subsequently lost her home.
“I think many people believe we just meander, not working, and expect things for nothing, “said Kathy. “But Iwas a productive part of my community until enough other things reared their ugly head – until I had little with which to fight.
“Kathy and her daughter headed to Washington State in her Chevrolet van to live with Kathy’s son and to look for work. However, when they arrived, her son had lost his home and needed to move in with friends. That left both of them living in the van. Kathy could not find a teaching job due to her age. Her daughter found work in
Alaska and moved. Kathy stayed behind and continued living in her van. That was 6 years ago.
Kathy receives $1,000 a month in social security, which it is not enough to get into an apartment and pay utilities. She is worried that her van will have mechanical issues and she ‘ll lose her home on wheels.
It is almost always a life event that causes a person to start living in their vehicle or on the street. Kathy’s were her surgery, a job loss and a flood. All these events were completely out of her control.
It is because of you that Kathy and other community members like her receive help every day. Thank you!!
We are excited to announce that we will be returning to our grocery store model in September! The grocery store model offers our members a more dignified way to receive food, as they are encouraged to come in and choose their own groceries to take home to their families. Volunteers are still needed as they keep the shelves stocked to provide plenty of choices. Our clientele has expressed how much they miss the opportunity to select the items they need to make their family recipes.
During the past year and a half, the food bank has undergone a total pivot in order to make sure all the hungry families received the food they needed. We served everyone curbside with premade boxes of shelf stable food and then volunteers shopped for all the perishable items, such as meat, poultry, fresh vegetables, eggs and butter. Everything was delivered curbside in front of the food bank. This has worked great; however, we know our members would enjoy being able to choose their own food for their families.
We are inviting you to come help reset our food bank and gift our members with the return of a little normalcy. We will be hosting a work party on Monday, September 13, 10am– 3pm. If you’d like to help with the restoration, please contact Wendy Foster at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (360)629-2789 X 315.
Julie Campbell and Jason Hansey
We have especially wonderful news to report, as we have hired a new volunteer coordinator – Jason Hansey. Jason is doing very well, learning the many ins-and-outs of the Food Bank and Thrift Store, and all the processes that keep our organization running efficiently. Most importantly, however, Jason’s heart is perfectly suited for our work – he is a person for others, desiring to make a positive difference for the less fortunate. Humble, hard-working, warm and personable, Jason has been a strong addition to our already-great team! Here is his introduction, in his own words:
My name is Jason Hansey. I am the new Volunteer Coordinator for the Stanwood Camano Food Bank and Thrift Store. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to work for an organization that puts such emphasis on community, generosity, and fellowship.
I am a Washington native, and I come from a customer service management background where I developed skills in serving others, client satisfaction and leadership. The opportunity to work for the Food Bank and Thrift store gives me the chance to exercise the virtues of empathy and generosity, which I have come to value much more in recent years.
My training at the Food Bank has shown me generous and caring co-workers, dedicated volunteers, and an overall feeling of community and teamwork. I already feel like I have been welcomed into an enormous family and am looking forward to many years of service to the community.
Friday November 5, 2021
8:30am to 10am
Camano Island, Wa 98282
Hope Against Hunger breakfast, held in November, is the Food Bank’s only annual fundraiser. The money raised during this moving event puts food into the mouths of adults and children facing food insecurity all year. It provides coats, scarves, and gloves to warm children in need throughout the fall, winter and spring. It funds Christmas House and stocks the shelves for families who pick up food during our weekly distribution.
The Fundraising Committee is working diligently to make this year’s event the best one ever. Hope Against Hunger 2021 will be an in-person event at Camano Center. We will have a sit-down breakfast with a great Master of Ceremonies, inspirational speaker and a short video. Do not forget the fantastic raffle baskets supplied from our Thrift Store and other contributors in our community
Recently, Resha Hanson responded to a shout out for a local artist to paint a mural inside our thrift store. Resha says she is learning the ropes of being a muralist, but we think she is an angel with a remarkable talent. She has greatly enhanced the ambiance of our clothing room. We invite you to come visit our thrift store to view this wonderful donation in person & maybe you’ll find a hidden treasure to take home – remember all proceeds support the food bank!!
There are so many ways to give to the Food Bank! People give of their time by volunteering – we couldn’t do it without them. People give through in-kind donations such as food through our Simple Gesture program (sign up on our website!). We are very grateful for all in-kind donations as they keep the Food Bank running. People also give through monetary donations and these gifts are essential for all expenditures. They also give through their retirement, trusts, wills and estates. If you have made giving a priority and give to the Food Bank, thank you! You are making a difference in our community.
Thank you for everything you do for our community and the Food Bank!
“My husband has gotten a new job so that for the first time in 6 years we have enough money to buy all of our own food! It is with gratefulness in our hearts that we thank all of the volunteers for the graciousness you have shown our family. I will never forget the first time I came….I felt so ashamed and less than. I expected to be treated as if I was invisible and an irritation but instead I was greeted with many smiles and a true desire to help me with my needs. I walked out of there filled with joy and feeling like a queen! These words are so inadequate to describe what a difference each and every one of you made in my life. Thank you for your steadfastness, the little jokes, and the sharing about how to cook the food.”
“We need to volunteer at the food bank. I know what it’s like to stand in that line.”
“I feel good coming here! This is the best part of my week”
“The food bank has been so awesome! It’s even been great having curbside pick-up. I was able to talk to people and shoot the breeze.”