Food bank volunteers needed in Federal Way | News briefs

Also: FW Chamber’s award winners; a county lawsuit; ethics complaints.

MSC Food Bank Needs Volunteer Drivers

Multi-Service Center (MSC) needs volunteer drivers and helpers to pick up food donations from local grocery stores. These food donations are essential to MSC’s ability to provide approximately 1,500 households weekly with nutritious food. Volunteer drivers use an MSC van to do pick-ups from local grocery stores of food donations that are then brought back to the food bank for distribution. Each driver also has a helper who rides along to assist. Volunteer shifts are available weekday mornings and are generally a two- to three-hour commitment between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.

The MSC food bank operates a market at the Federal Way location, as well as a home delivery service in partnership with United Way and Door Dash and pop-up markets at senior living facilities. They serve anyone that comes to the food bank in need of assistance.

Congratulations to 2023 Impact Award Recipients

The Greater Federal Way Chamber will honor three businesses with Impact Awards as part of its 70th annual Gala on November 18, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Woodbridge Corporate Park headquarters building.

The 2023 Impact Award recipients: Rhododendron Species Botanical Garden will receive the Community Impact Award, and La Quinta Inn & Suites, Seattle- Federal Way will receive the Regional Impact Award.

County lawsuit over behavioral health services

22 counties, including King County, and Washington State Association of Counties filed a lawsuit against the State of Washington for refusal to provide necessary behavioral health treatment under state law.

The lawsuit is based on court orders and state laws that require DSHS to provide behavioral health treatment when a person with a serious mental health condition or cognitive disability has their charges dismissed because they are unable to understand the charges. This system, called a civil conversion commitment, focuses on people with severe behavioral health conditions who have not been adequately served by the crisis and outpatient behavioral health system. The lawsuit points out that individuals in this situation are then released back into the community without facing justice, nor receiving the treatment courts have ordered, leaving the burden on their home counties. These releases further a harmful cycle where the state does not meet its responsibility of care and leaves individuals are left at risk to re-offend, repeating the legal process without any interruption for care and treatment.

DSHS has asserted that it is no longer obligated to either evaluate or treat patients whose criminal charges are dismissed, citing a federal judge’s orders in a separate case.

Council approves increased transparency for ethics complaints

The King County Council on Sept. 5 approved legislation to increase transparency in ethics investigations and professionalize the Board of Ethics in the wake of cases that highlighted shortcomings in existing rules.

The ordinance makes several changes to code related to the Office of Public Complaints and the Code of Ethics, including establishing a timeline for the early resolution agreement process, requiring the Ombuds to share records with the Board of Ethics, and clarifying what actions the board can take.

The legislation also adds a requirement that members of the Board of Ethics have demonstrated experience applicable to the board’s responsibilities. Dembowski brought the legislation after news reports that the Board of Ethics lacked access to relevant information in evaluating a 2021 early resolution agreement.