How Sky Valley Food Bank serves the hungry

MONROE — Every holiday season, hundreds of people turn to the Sky Valley Food Bank in Monroe.

The need to serve the hungry is big. So is the community’s desire to give.

“This community has such a big heart,” said Julie Morris, the food bank’s executive director.

Morris has been in charge of the food bank since her mother died in 1999. Julia V. Morris started the food bank in 1976 by handing out Thanksgiving baskets to people in her apartment home.

Julie Morris answers questions about how the food bank continues to serve the needy this holiday season.

Question: Thanksgiving Day is today. How much food did the food bank give away this week?

Morris: About 450 families on Monday and Tuesday received turkeys and other food including pastas, sweet potatoes, bread and rolls, and canned soup, fruits and vegetables.

Q: How did people in the community help out?

A: People gave generously, sending checks and food donations to the food bank. Businesses and churches pitched in. Students held food drives. Boy and girl scouts helped out, too. It all added up to make a big difference. No donation is too small.

Q: Do more people count on the food bank during a holiday season?

A: Yes. Many families struggle to pay bills during wintertime. Electricity bills go up. But outside a holiday season, there is always a need to feed the hungry. On average, the food bank hands out enough food to make 30,000 meals per month.

Q: What’s next?

A: Christmas is nearing. The food bank is asking for cash and food donations. It also needs new toys to give to children ages 13 and under. The food bank will distribute Christmas baskets and new toys to needy families from 9 to 11:30 a.m. and 5:30 to 7 p.m. on Dec. 17; 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 18; and 9 to 11:30 a.m. on Dec. 19.

Q: How can people help the food bank help the needy?

A: They can send checks and food donations to: Sky Valley Food Bank, P.O. Box 724, Monroe, WA 98272. The food bank is at 233 Sky River Parkway. For more information, go to www.­ or call 360-794-7959.

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