CenturyLink and a retired employees group known as the Telephone Pioneers hold a Backpack for Buddies food drive every year, and they recently delivered a check to the Puyallup Food Bank for $19,000.
“During the summer months, they do this to bring in kid-friendly foods,” said Shanna Peterson, director of operations for the Puyallup Food Bank.
Peterson said food banks are hit hard during the summer months because school children no longer have access to free breakfast or lunch programs. When the group told her just how much money they would be donating, she said she couldn’t believe it.
“This $19,000 is just under 10 percent of our budget,” Peterson said.
She told herself not to get too excited until she actually saw the check.
“I’m just giddy!” Peterson added.
The Puyallup Food Bank had the biggest June in its history, providing food for 1,484 families. It totaled nearly 67,000 meals and brought in more than 177,000 pounds of food.
In a continuing effort to raise funds, the Puyallup Food Bank will hold a fundraiser at the South Hill Mall on Aug. 3. A candy buffet will be set up, and for a small donation, people will be able to fill their containers with candy. The event will take place during the mall’s back-to-school kickoff.
“The South Hill Mall folks are extremely generous to us,” Peterson said.
The Washington State Fair will open Sept. 6. As in years past, the Puyallup Food Bank will hold its annual food drive on opening day, and it plans to bring in big trucks and lots of volunteers to collect food and cash donations.
The food bank needs volunteers to gather and sort the food from that food drive as well as through the holiday season, Peterson said.Joan Cronk is a freelance reporter for the Herald.