MARYSVILLE — Marysville’s All-City Food Drive kicks off Saturday morning with volunteers fanning out across the city to raise money and collect food donations for the Marysville Community Food Bank.
The community is reeling from the shootings at Marysville Pilchuck High School, and the need to help the hungry hasn’t lessened. In fact, it’s grown, said food bank director Dell Deierling.
Family visits to the food bank have increased this year, Deierling said.
In the meantime, individual donations of food are down 7 percent, and monetary donations, while up slightly since last year, haven’t kept pace with the increased amount spent to make up the shortfall in food, he said.
“When you look at the stock market hitting new highs, you might think the economy’s doing better. Guess what?” Deierling said.
The reasons for the increased need are many. People might be working but not earning enough, Deierling said, or grandparents who had saved for retirement might find themselves taking care of a child.
“We’re having to make more food purchases this year to fill the gaps,” Deierling said, and financial donations are critical.
The Oso mudslide in March also had some effect, as many residents across the region contributed to the recovery.
That’s as it should be, Deierling said, because that’s where the need was at the time. But as often happens after a major disaster, other charities might come up short at the end of the year.
On Saturday morning, the city is marshaling volunteers from its staff and several local organizations to take collections outside grocery stores across the city.
Food, new toys and monetary donations help the food bank serve holiday needs for local families, but they also help fill the food bank’s shelves until the Letter Carriers Food Drive in the spring, said board member Tara Mizell.
“I hope people realize that this is such a pivotal time for us,” Mizell said.
Volunteers on Saturday will collect nonperishable food, new toys and money for the Marysville Community Food Bank.
From 9 a.m.-3 p.m., they will be at area grocery stores, including Fred Meyer, Albertsons, Grocery Outlet, Haggen, the Wal-Mart at 64th Street and Highway 9, and Safeway stores in Marysville and Smokey Point.
Red barrels throughout the community also will be used to take collections during the holiday season. Donations also can be dropped off at the food bank at 4150 88th St. NE, behind St. Mary’s Church.