Quarterly Newsletter | Fall 2020

Between March 1st and July 25th of this year, over 358,900 King County residents (about 1 in 4 workers) filed claims for unemployment benefits, and the unemployment rate tripled from 2.7% in January 2020 to 9.2% in June 2020.*

Director's Note: Moving Food Distribution Back Inside
By Cori Walters, Executive Director

You might remember the sideways winds and torrential downpour that kicked off our cooler weather season in the beginning of October…we certainly do! On that first super blustery day, the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank staff and volunteer team were inside preparing our indoor space to accommodate shoppers back inside the building. We were grateful that...READ MORE
A Time to Receive: Rachel's Story
"[...] we found ourselves on a limited income and we were barely able to make ends meet each month. We could either pay our bills or buy food, but could not do both."

The Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank's mission is to provide basic needs to our community members to promote self-sufficiency. Whether people need a little extra support or rely on the food bank for all of their basic needs, we strive to make sure that gaps are filled and needs are met - none of which would be possible without our community of supporters - partners, donors, and volunteers.

We hope that as you watch this video and listen to Rachel's letter, you realize what an amazing and necessary impact you are helping make in others' lives.

We thank Rachel and her family for their vulnerability in sharing their heart-warming story and we thank YOU for your compassion, generosity, and all you do for our community!
Recipe for Hope
Thank you for helping to make our first ever virtual Recipe for Hope a success! We met our $200,000 fundraising goal!

Our theme this year was Compassion in Action, exemplifying how your compassion has and will continue to be crucial in keeping our community healthy and resilient despite the harsh outcomes of the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate all of our supporters for EVERYTHING you do to help our East King County neighbors get their basic needs met.

If you weren't able to join us for the event, click here to check out the full event program video!
Thanks to our 2020 Recipe for Hope sponsors, 100% of event donations are going
toward getting food to people!
Champion Spotlight - Volunteer Translators!
By Lisa Haynes
The ability to clearly communicate with our shoppers is vital to helping them feel safe and valued. The Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank welcomes people of all cultural backgrounds and often times, we come across folks who are unable to or have difficulty communicating in English. We are honored to have volunteers who help us communicate with these shoppers in their respective native languages.

Kate learned about...READ MORE
Turkey Trot 2020 is happening!
Help us keep the tradition ALIVE!

Register today to ensure your t-shirt size!

We've made several changes this year for maximum safety and fun. The 2020 Issaquah Turkey Trot will take place over the entire Thanksgiving weekend (November 26th through 29th) and you will have 7 different "trotting" courses to choose from. You pick the day, time, and the course!

In addition to t-shirts, this year we have Turkey Trot hats and neck buffs available for purchase. All swag will be mailed directly to you and benefit the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank. As always, Thanksgiving theme gear and costumes are strongly encouraged and we'll even have an online costume contest this year!

Visit the Turkey Trot website for more details and to register! Register by November 1st to guarantee your t-shirt size. We hope to see you trotting this Thanksgiving weekend!
Effects of COVID-19 on Food Insecurity
By Rebecca Rice
The COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on all of our lives – from wearing masks and not eating out, to not being able to be with family - everyone has been affected. For people who are low income, especially low income families with children, those impacts have been much harder to manage.

Holiday Gift (Card) Barn 2020
It's the most wonderful time of the year...with a twist!

Holiday Gift Barn will look a little different this year as we keep the health and safety of our community in mind while still providing an opportunity for holiday shopping. This year, we will be distributing gift cards only, so that participating families can safely shop online and still choose gifts for their children.

We are asking for $25 gift cards from local businesses as well as stores such as Target, Fred Meyer, Sephora, and PlayStation, etc.. Donors should still register and gift card and financial donations can be sent via mail or made online. We appreciate your understanding of this change in the program and thank you for helping to provide the best and safest holiday experience for everyone participating!

Thank you for helping to make Holiday Gift Barn 2020 a success! Please visit our website for more details, to register as a donor, and to find our donor toolkit if you're organizing a drive!
This summer, the average number of children served in a given week increased by 73% from last June and over 480 children received $25 gift cards to grocery stores!
A Safe Summer Lunch
Summer Lunch launched it's first drive-up, no contact, pick up service this past June! Although boxes were pre-packed for safety and efficiency, there was no shortage in the variety of food and produce we were able to provide families.

Throughout the summer, we distributed cereal, bread, deli meat, cheese, yogurt, chicken tenders, and fresh produce such as pineapples, peaches, berries, and nectarines. Families stayed in their cars and chose what they'd like from menu boards as volunteers loaded their trunks with 2-weeks worth of food.

Apparent from the increased program numbers, childhood food-insecurity is continuing to grow in our region, but with the unwavering support from our donors, our amazing Summer Lunch volunteers, and our partnership with the Issaquah Schools Foundation, children throughout the Issaquah School District were well supported this summer! Thank you!
Mayor's Day of Concern

Boo! Join us this Halloween for the Mayor's Day of Concern Food & Winter Gear Drive! In collaboration with the City of Issaquah and the City of Sammamish, we will be holding a drive-thru, no contact donation drive for food and winter gear to help Eastside neighbors prepare for the cold and wet winter months ahead.

There are TWO donation drop-off locations and we will only be accepting items off our Urgent Needs and Winter Gear Needs lists, available here.

Halloween Food & Winter Gear Drive
Saturday, October 31st, 2020 | 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.

Drop-off Locations:
Central Washington University
120 228th Avenue NE
Sammamish, WA 98074
Our Savior Lutheran Church
745 Front Street South
Issaquah, WA 98027
Power Packs...Plus!
While school certainly looks different this year, one fact remains clear: children consistently learn, problem-solve, and perform better when they’re well-nourished. Our Power Packs program grew out of an understanding that many families depend on their school's free and reduced lunch program to help keep kids fed and focused - and sometimes, those families need a little extra help on the weekends. At the start of the 2020 school year, 1765 children in the Issaquah School District qualified for free and reduced lunch. Here at the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank, we regularly hear from families whose resources continue to be stretched too thin by the enduring effects of COVID-19....READ MORE
In-Kind Giving During COVID-19
We need your help resourcing the food and basic needs items for our every other week emergency distribution model.

Here are two ways to help:

  1. Order items off our Emergency Needs List to be shipped directly to our building. This is a HUGE help and we thank everyone who has already been doing this!
  2. Connect with the Issaquah Sammamish Food Project to learn how and when to coordinate a one-time drop off donation or join multiple neighborhoods for a regularly occurring event. Click here to learn more.

Please note that we can only accept items off our Emergency Needs List through these methods (no drop-off at our building). Our clothing bank will remain closed at this time, but we are asking for NEW winter gear donations off our specific Winter Gear Needs List through the Mayors Day of Concern drive.
Run with the Fishes!
Issaquah Rotary 5k or 1k

Halloween Run
October 23rd - November 1st

Help support local non-profits, including the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank, by running with the fishes this Halloween! Registration is $25 for adults and $10 for kids. 60% of the registration fee will go to the non-profit of your choice.

Sign up today!

With all the online ordering that everyone is doing, NOW'S THE TIME to make those dollars count for good!

Designate the Issaquah Food & Clothing Bank as your Amazon Smile organization and we will receive a percentage of every purchase you make through Amazon Smile. It's that easy!