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The Seattle Sketcher

An illustrated journal of life in the Puget Sound region by Times artist Gabriel Campanario.

November 19, 2009 at 3:36 PM

Volunteers at Ballard Food Bank help people in need

ballardfoodbank09m.jpg
Nov. 18, 11:40 a.m. [Click on the sketch to view larger]
foodbankkenny111909m.jpgAfter dropping my food donation at the Brenden Foster Food Drive in Bothell, I stopped by the Ballard Food Bank, one of the organizations that will be putting the food in the hands of the people who need it. This food bank alone served more than 4,000 people in September, said executive director Nancy McKinney as she showed me around.
It was almost time to open and the line of people waiting outside wrapped around the block at the corner of 24th Avenue and 70th St. In addition to food, the nonprofit organization also offers financial advice, a mail box service, clothing and a hygiene bar where people can get shampoo and toiletries.
Over in the food area Ken Cluckey was handing out cartons of eggs and fresh fruit. “I have had such a good life myself, I should be doing payback,” he said about his 16 years volunteering here after he retired. Next to him was Deb Stewart, helping people get what they needed from the meat freezer. “You can have two of these sweetheart,” she told a customer as she pointed to a tray of frozen meat. There’s a limit of items per person or family, but that’s the only restriction. Everything else here looks just like a supermarket; only the cash registers are missing.
“We give food to everybody who comes,” said McKinney. “If we can help people with food, then they don’t fall behind paying their rent or their utilities. The food bill doesn’t come in the mail but everybody needs to eat.”
This time of the year McKinney is especially happy if they have turkeys to give out. “Last week a woman drove by and dropped six frozen turkeys,” she said. “Most everyone around here grew up having turkey on Thanksgiving. It’s one of those things that makes people sad if they can’t keep that tradition”.
• For information about how to donate visit the Ballard Food Bank’s website.

Comments | Topics: Ballard

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