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Mayor's Day of Concern beefs up Federal Way Food Bank

Jonah Hwang, 9, collects food Saturday at Safeway on 320th Street in Federal Way. - Andy Hobbs/The Mirror
Jonah Hwang, 9, collects food Saturday at Safeway on 320th Street in Federal Way.
— image credit: Andy Hobbs/The Mirror

Volunteers and shoppers were generous this year, giving time and food items to those in need during the Mayor's Day of Concern for the Hungry.

"We had a lot of people that came forward and volunteered and wanted to help," Mayor Jack Dovey said.

The food collection event took place Sept. 26 at most of the city's local grocery stores. Eight of the city's grocery stores participated in the event. Individuals visiting the stores donated 6,820 pounds of food and $952.18 during the one-day affair.

The amount of food collected this year was less than that gathered during last year's event, said Tricia Schug, Multi-Service Center communications manager. But it will still feed 187 families for a month, she said.

The Mayor's Day of Concern for the Hungry is an Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle and King County project. The program provides food at six Federal Way area distribution centers. It offers those in need a variety of prepared, nutritional meals. The program supplies bags of food, some specifically designed for populations such as diabetics, infants and the homeless. Each person receives six full meals per bag.

"It's turning out to be a pretty good program," Dovey said.

In 2008, the program fed 68,414 people in King County by providing approximately 282,821 nutritional meals, according to the program's Web site, www.emergencyfeeding.org. About 40 percent of the population EFP feeds are children and infants.

The Mayor's Day of Concern brought in about 70 tons of food throughout King County last year, EFP Executive Director Arthur Lee said. Feeding needs have significantly increased across the county since that time, he said.

"Most certainly we have seen an increase," Lee said. "We're at about 55 percent above service levels last year."

EFP hoped to collect at least 100 tons of food this time around to last through mid-November, Lee said.

In coordination with the Mayor's Day of Concern, Dovey again made September a month of concern for the hungry in Federal Way. Residents were encouraged to donate food items to the Federal Way Food Bank.

Waste Management picked up 22,200 pounds of food curbside throughout the week of Sept. 21-25. This too was less than that collected last year. Dovey said he received a phone call at home from one resident whose curbside food donation was missed. The resident wished to know how to still contribute to the food drive, Dovey said.

Check it out

To learn more about the Federal Way Food Bank, visit www.multi-servicecenter.com/food-bank.htm. The food bank is operated by the Multi-Service Center, 1200 S. 336th St. Food items can be dropped off at any time. The food bank is open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Photo identification and proof of a Federal Way address is needed. Call (253) 838-6810.

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