The Des Moines Area Food Bank received $5,000 and one of the 2012 Agency Excellence Awards for the organization’s exemplary approaches to ending hunger through its mobile summer meals program for children in low-income households. Food Lifeline presented the food bank with the Excellence in Collaboration award and $5,000 to continue expanding its mission, and to increase and better its capabilities to serve the hungry people in the Des Moines community.
While the Des Moines Area Food Bank has long prioritized the issue of child hunger, they recently discovered that the rate of food insecurity for children in their part of the county is nearly twice the rate found in Seattle or other King County communities. Through a series of innovative local collaborations the Des Moines Area Food Bank implemented a mobile summer meals program that resulted in over 14,000 nutritious summer lunches and snacks for children in the heart of low-income neighborhoods.
The collaboration behind this much-need service included local businesses, government, schools, churches, the emergency food network, and other human service providers to reach hundreds of different children with healthful food, wholesome activities, and resources to expand their academic potential. Partners provided a variety of resources including meal sites, funding, food, staff support, and special benefits for children and their families.
“We would like to thank Food Lifeline for this award and Unified Grocers for the $5,000 in funding support,” reads a statement. “We were excited to work with so many great partners this year, including Highline School District, Matt Griffin YMCA, Washington State OSPI, City of Des Moines Parks and Recreation, City of SeaTac Parks Department, United Way of King County, Des Moines Lions Club, Des Moines United Methodist Church, Food Lifeline and many community volunteers! We love working with you!”
The Des Moines Area Food Bank won this award for its excellence in collaboration which is given to a Food Lifeline member agency that demonstrates exemplary approaches to ending hunger by pulling together the community, agencies, organizations or the government to end hunger.
Food Lifeline presented the Agency Excellence Awards at its Annual Agency Conference in Shoreline, on March 22. The conference hosts expert leaders from Food Lifeline’s nearly 300 member agencies from all throughout Western Washington, connects them with each other and offers educational and informational workshops. The awards, presented to four individual agencies excelling in their mission to feed hungry people include:
- Excellence in Community Resource Development
- Excellence in Collaboration
- Excellence in Food Resource Development
- Excellence in Client Service
“Our member agencies face considerable challenges due to the lingering effects of the economy and the significant increase in people seeking food assistance,” said Linda Nageotte, President and CEO of Food Lifeline, “These awards allow us to provide recognition and support to those agencies who have responded to the great need in their communities by developing innovative and deeply impactful programs to feed hungry people.”
About Des Moines Area Food Bank
The Des Moines Area Food Bank serves an average of 1,000 different families each month in the area south of SeaTac airport. In addition to this regular service, the food bank has focused on addressing childhood hunger through its weekend backpack and summer meals programs. Two out of three students in local elementary schools qualify for the federal free and reduced program and 1 in 5 children in South King county live in families that “often” or “sometimes” run out of food. “When we learned children’s health as well as educational success is closely linked with adequate food, we knew the food bank needed to act with summer meal support for children,” stated Kris Van Gasken, Executive Director. “The summer meals program is important because it not only addresses the need for food, but also the need for highly nutritious food.” For more information on the food bank, or to make a donation, visit www.myfoodbank.org.
About Food Lifeline
Food Lifeline is a local hunger relief organization, efficiently serving the Western Washington area by using 96% of revenue to directly feed hungry people. Last year the organization delivered more than 27 million meals to hungry people through its network of nearly 300 food banks, meal programs and shelters. Food Lifeline is also a member of the national organization, Feeding America. For more information about Food Lifeline or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit www.foodlifeline.org or call 206-545-6600.