Top | Opinion
(article, Kadi Engquist)
It’s officially the time of year when you start compiling wish lists and keep on the lookout for that perfect gift to give. But for many of the people served by Food Lifeline, Washington state’s largest hunger-relief organization, “food for my family” is first on their list. [[block(sidebar). h1. Editor's note Like many hunger relief organizations in the United States, Food Lifeline, in Washington state, is a member of Feeding America, the national organization that coordinates a range of food donations. This month, Culinate is [/articles/ourtable/FoodBank_Donation donating] 100 percent of commissions from Amazon and Powell's to Feeding America. At the bottom of this Opinion post, is a request for donations for Food Lifeline. If you're not in Washington and would like to donate directly to a hunger relief organization in your area, you might consult Feeding America's Food Bank Locator. ]] “I have never done this before, but I don't know what else to do," says Tara, a mother of three. "I don't make enough money to even cover all the bills. Before this year, we were always the ones giving to help, but now we are asking for it.” This year, Food Lifeline noted a 13-percent increase in the number of people served over last year — an increase equivalent to filling an entire football stadium full of people. Much of this increased need comes from people who, like Tara, have never had to use a food bank before, and are now standing in line, waiting to get food for their families. As the holiday season approaches, Food Lifeline is preparing for the coming months. The weather’s colder now, and the lines at the nearly 300 food banks, meal programs, and shelters the organization serves will soon be getting longer. The increased cost of utilities will force many people into the difficult choice of “heating or eating.” “You have to eat. You have to have food; it’s a basic need,” says Raeann, a Seattle-area food-bank client. Of the more than 675,000 people Food Lifeline serves each year, 37 percent are children and 12 percent are seniors. Because of the unwavering commitment of generous community members, Food Lifeline is able to help these individuals gain access to the wholesome food they need to survive and thrive. “At Food Lifeline, our job is to make connections for hungry people. We work to be the ‘lifeline’ that captures the abundance around us, and shares it with those who need it so much,” says Linda Nageotte, Food Lifeline's president and CEO. “We’ve been developing food drives and promotions that will make it easy for you to give a little time, a little food, or a little money to help feed others, and we’re working diligently with lawmakers to ensure hunger relief is a priority in local communities.” [%image reference-image float=right width=400 caption="A child eating at one of Food Lifeline's food banks."]Help fulfill the wish lists of hungry people in need this holiday season by visiting our donation Web page. Every $1 donation can feed a family of four. Thank you for helping us feed hope. p(bio). Kadi Engquist is the marketing coordinator for Food Lifeline.