Food drive hauls in 74,500 pounds

When Federal Way Mayor Jack Dovey called upon residents to help feed the hungry, the city answered with resounding determination.

The Mayor’s Day of Concern for the Hungry food drive collected just over 74,000 pounds of food and more than $5,000 in cash donations — a significant improvement from last year. In 2007, the one-day event brought in 6,460 pounds of food and $814.

The mayor’s request to Federal Way residents made a huge difference, said Tricia Schug, community relations manager for the Multi-Service Center.

“This is a significant contribution by the people of Federal Way — and special thanks is due to Waste Management for their collection. They alone collected 50,000 pounds,” Schug said in an e-mail.

The Mayor’s Day of Concern for the Hungry is an annual event of the Feeding Program, which has served the King County area since 1977. Mayors of 24 cities proclaim the last Saturday of September as a day to help the needy.

Dovey thought Federal Way could do better than that. This year’s food drive was held unofficially as a month-long event. Dovey asked for donations by way of group efforts from schools and other organizations.

He also provided options for individual donations, including leaving bagged donations on the curb for Waste Management to pick up, or dropping off food items at participating grocery stores on Sept. 27, the last day of the drive.

Requests from families in need have been increasing over the last year and the usual amount of donations have not been enough.

The Multi-Service Center food bank serves 2,500 people a month — and 47 percent of those are children, Schug said. The food donated from the drive is expected to last about six weeks.

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