Monroe church tackling hunger by the block

MONROE — Members of The Rock Church spent hours this past week sorting through groceries, cooking meals and driving to feed families in need.

Besides believing it’s the right thing to do, some members feel it’s their special mission.

“It’s a calling in my heart to help people, and to feed them,” church member Ray Bosko said.

Bosko, 45, who owns a pizza restaurant in Kirkland, is one of about a dozen volunteers for the church’s “Adopt A Block” program. Church members distribute groceries and hot meals to people in two neighborhoods near the church in Monroe.

The program is in its second year, and it serves 300 hot meals on average every week, pastor Rory Tongg said.

The locations were scouted by volunteers. The church had the resources and tools to help these two locations, Tongg said.

On Tuesday, 10 volunteers unloaded groceries at the church, located at 16891 146th St. SE.

There were fewer groceries than other days, so the volunteers decided not to use the church’s truck that day.

The groceries were donated by different organizations throughout the week, Tongg said.

Earlier in the day, Bosko and other volunteers cooked the meals by using ingredients bought by the church. The church does this to ensure freshness and spends about $100 every week.

“The biggest challenge is to be creative on the menu while keeping the costs low and giving a hearty meal,” Bosko said.

After giving a prayer, the volunteers separated into two groups and drove to Fairview Apartments and a cul-de-sac at W. Maple Street. When they got there, they unloaded the groceries on the sidewalk and set up a table with the meal of the day: rice and chili, and cookies for dessert.

Neighbors were given bags for the groceries and cups for the meals.

For married couple Stephen and Stephanie Moore, the program helps them by giving them a break from cooking dinner one day a week.

“It gives us a chance to relax,” Stephen Moore said.

Still, there are challenges for the church. It is currently moving to a smaller warehouse and the program is not as efficient as organizers want.

They plan to put Adopt a Block on hiatus for six weeks. The only thing certain is that they will continue with their mission to help others.

“Adopt a Block is coming back, but maybe in a different format,” member Salina Vannoy said.

The church will keep helping out in the meantime. People can get groceries and other items from 6 to 6:30 p.m. every Friday at the church,

Alejandro Dominguez:425-339-3422; adominguez@heraldnet.com.

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