Published June 16, 2009
What sounds good for dinner tonight? Roasted chicken with summer greens? Ziti and meatballs? Maybe Chinese take-out?
Most of us are lucky enough to have this question running through our minds each evening. Many people in our country, however, have a different conversation with themselves when dinnertime comes around.
How will I feed my family tonight? Will my children go to bed hungry again? How can I help us to find stability? Where can I turn?
Right now, millions of Americans are struggling with hunger. For 1 in 8 people in our country – hard-working adults, young children, and seniors who simply can’t make ends meet – hunger is a harsh, daily reality. A job loss, a cut in pay, or a loss of health insurance can suddenly force a family to choose between paying bills and putting food on the table.
Thankfully, there is a place for people to turn when they find themselves walking a precarious financial line. Food banks like Hopelink in Washington provide a safety net for families who would otherwise fall into a desperate situation. Hopelink understands that when a person doesn’t have enough food – the most basic human need – stability in other areas of life is impossible. This organization – which is more than just a food bank – provides food for survival and education for self-sufficiency.
A few months ago, the members of Trilogy at Redmond Ridge learned that the Hopelink food banks were having a major supply shortage. Whenever there’s an economic downturn, food banks find that donation levels fall, while the demand for food is on the rise. As a result, more food is leaving the food bank than is coming in for those in need.
Trilogy at Redmond Ridge heard this call for help and responded with enthusiasm, drive, and determination to fill the shelves of the Hopelink Food Bank. They’ve assembled a group of members, called Neighbors Helping Neighbors, who are planning a massive, community-wide food drive on July 15th. Their goal is to gather 20,000 pounds of non-perishable food items for donation to the Hopelink food banks in Carnation and Redmond, Washington. Through their efforts, these volunteer members hope to show their struggling neighbors that they have the support of their community during this time of need.
The Logistics of a Community-Wide Food Drive
Redmond Ridge volunteers began planning and preparing for the Neighbors Helping Neighbors Food Drive well over a month ago. The core members who initiated this effort have given talks to the various community clubs of Redmond Ridge – over 30 different groups in all – in an effort to spread the word about the need for help. They hope to have enough volunteers in place on the day of the drive to have the collection process run smoothly and efficiently. Thanks to community meetings, mailings, flyers, and emails, the word has spread and there are already 105 volunteers ready and willing to give their time and energy on the day of the food drive. Neighbors Helping Neighbors is still seeking volunteers, and they could particularly use strong people who are capable of lifting and carrying boxes and sacks.
What will the Trilogy community be asked to do?
On the morning of July 15th, Neighbors Helping Neighbors hopes that every home in Trilogy at Redmond Ridge will place a generous pile of donated, non-perishable food (boxed or bagged) on their front porch. There are 12 neighborhood divisions at Redmond Ridge, each with anywhere from 20 to 274 homes. The plan is for 10 to 12 volunteers to travel in twos collecting food from the porches. Each pair will drive a van, an SUV, or a small truck that will be able to hold a good amount of food. They will collect food from each house and bring it to their vehicle. When their vehicle is full, they will bring their donations to a larger truck, which will transport the donations to the Carnation and Redmond food banks. Each pair will have a certain area to cover, working off of a map of the neighborhood divisions. Many hands should make light work for Neighbors Helping Neighbors, so the more people who volunteer, the easier it will be for each member giving of their time and energy.
All Neighbors Helping Neighbors volunteers will be attending a meeting on June 23rd at 7:00 p.m. in the Cascade Club. Volunteers will meet with their Division Captains to discuss the details of this event and to ensure that all food donations are collected from the porches in a timely manner.
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