Upcoming Events

September 13 @ 6 pm- Food For Thought Series:
Hops Against Hunger Trivia Night

Test your knowledge of hunger-related topics while enjoying local libations. Prizes for answers both accurate and creative!

Catering provided by
Haggen: Market Street Catering

RSVP by September 10 to
Support hunger relief county-wide at this fun event. Learn more at https://www.facebook.com/communityfooddrive.
Food For Thought
Onward & Upward

Mike & Daughter Piper
This has already been an interesting summer for our food bank. Thanks to our donors and CenturyLin k we were able to raise some substantial funds through an awesome opportunity that our community REALLY responded to. Due to the fact that many families miss the free meals provided by schools, we are allowing our families to visit our food bank two times per week and we increased the amount of food each family can bring home each visit. Additionally, we are partnering with Lummi Nation and Agape Service Project on some innovative hunger relief efforts. Even with all that, it's about to get even more interesting.

Our Board of Directors sets our strategic direction at a planning retreat every three years. We will gather in late August to look at hunger trends, reflect on innovative programs, and chart our course for the next three years. In preparation for our retreat, staff researched childhood hunger. It's sad to see how prevalent childhood hunger is in Whatcom County and where some of the most profound incidences of childhood hunger are present. I am sure we will be focusing on childhood hunger over the next three years. It will take partnerships with other groups, innovation, and broad support to tackle this critical topic.

Our food bank is only able to aggressively take on hunger as a result of our community's investment in our work. Our food bank is different because of you. Many of our food bank peers remain in neutral and can barely keep up with demand. Because of the ongoing support we receive from so many, we are able to grow and innovate. And we must. Because we believe Hunger is Unacceptable. Stay tuned for the outcomes of our treat and stay committed to taking on hunger.

-Mike Cohen,
Executive Director
Serving Whatcom County
Expanding Our Reach

This past winter, BFB staff began researching childhood hunger in Whatcom County. We already knew that 37% of the clients we serve are age 18 and younger, and we wanted to learn how we could better serve families with kids, especially during school vacations when food bank families really notice the extra meals they need to put on the table at home.

While expanded summer hours and other new initiatives have helped us make inroads to serving families we know are in need, it wasn't until we met with the Agape Service Project that we had a reliable mechanism for engaging with migrant farmworker families.

Much more difficult to track because of their seasonal residence, these families are also integral to Whatcom County agriculture and our food system. Many also struggle with food security, so when the Agape Service Project asked BFB if we could support their work serving around 130 families each week with produce, diapers, and eggs, the decision to help was easy. BFB's gleaning project is able to grow some of the items needed at Boxx Berry Farm, while we're able to leverage our greater purchasing power to defray other costs which helps the service project's budget go farther each week.

A project of the Newman Center at WWU, the Agape Service Project hosts summer service projects to help foster middle and high school youths' faith while serving the migrant community of Whatcom County during the strawberry and raspberry harvest season. In addition to offering a weekly food pantry, the project works a lot with the kids at the camp who are often left in charge of younger siblings while parents are in the field. "Some of our work is about food for families, while other times we get the chance to give older siblings the opportunity to be kids themselves," says Program Supervisor Melina Sergent.

- Max Morange,
Emerging Projects Coordinator
Take A Bite
Food Sampling

Bellingham Food Bank's produce section changes a lot throughout the year, reflecting what's in season and the abundance of the local harvest. But have you ever wondered what to do with some of the items you've seen? Maybe you don't think some of the veggies would make your family smile? Kids are notoriously picky eaters, but even the rest of us can agree that there are some food items we tried once a long time ago and aren't eager to dish up again anytime soon.

That's the focus of our new Take a Bite Project: sample dishes of simply prepared, locally grown vegetables offered one full week a month at our Ellis Street grocery distribution from now through October.

The research shows that it can take a few tries before a new taste becomes enjoyable, but this can have a real cost to a struggling household without much money to spend on produce that kids my not initially like. Furthermore, as adults we tend to eat the way we grew up eating. That means no veggies as a kid and . . . well, you get where I'm going here, and we all know that a life without healthy food will take a real toll on a person's health.

While we are all entitled to our own tastes, Take a Bite asks people to check in with their taste buds to see if some unfamiliar items might actually be pretty exciting if prepared the right way. You never know if your taste buds have changed since you last tried something, and there's never a wrong time to offer your kids the same opportunity.

We launched Take a Bite this June with the first harvest of local Swiss chard simply cooked on the stovetop with oil, salt, pepper, and lemon. It was a hit! And do you know who came back the most often for seconds?  Kids.

- Max Morange,
Emerging Projects Coordinator
Summer Hours Stats

Summer is upon us and with it has come a number of exciting developments in our anti-hunger interventions. Each is focused on getting more food to hungry children and their families, and is made possible by our generous community supporters who gave to our spring appeal and CenturyLink Foundation matching campaign.

Getting To Know
Distribution Staff
Welcome Van!
Van Dartt has joined the BFB staff in a new role as Distribution Coordinator. She brings with her 8 years of food bank volunteer experience, as well as a background in grocery and customer service. We are so thrilled that she is on board!

Melanie Danner
Operations Manager Drew Butler has left BFB to pursue his dream of becoming a full-time firefighter, and Melanie Danner, who has coordinated our Grocery Rescue effort and satellite programs, is now our Operations Manager. While we will miss Drew greatly, we wish him well and are so pleased that Melanie has stepped into this role. 

Julia Raider
Julia Raider has long been our Garden Project Coordinator, but has added nonperishable sorting and coordination of our satellite programs to her duties. She and Van will be the friendly faces at our Christ the King and Alderwood Elementary distributions come the Fall.

We are excited for what our distribution team's new energy will bring to our mission of feeding hungry families!