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.
Emerging Projects Coordinator