In response to Rose Hedahl’s Nov. 5 letter, “Snohomish Food Bank: A few people are giving it a bad name”: The Clothes Closet dispute was never with the food bank, but with the current board of directors. Giving clothes to “out of Snohomish” people has been going on for many years. Our director was there eight and a half years, and it started before she became a volunteer.
Our problem was why the board felt it needed to cut off the outside families at this time. There had to have been a decision at some point in time by some prior board to give help outside of our own community. It was never a secret that we were serving out of the area people as our director was required to give a monthly report to the board on how many local families and how many out of town families were accommodated.
It would be lovely if other communities would decide to open their own clothing operations, but sharing clothes with them, as the letter writer suggested, would violate the “keep all donations in Snohomish” policy set by this board. Would it be more acceptable if the food bank staff were doing the sharing?
Yes, the food bank is staffed solely by volunteers as was the clothing area. Now 22 of the clothing people have quit in protest of the board decision. As I sad, our quarrel was with the board. Most of the people on it have been serving for a long time, and were well aware of what we were doing. We did nothing without their authorization. That makes it doubly hard to understand why they would suddenly reverse their own operating procedures.
The writer says we should start our own operation. Where would we find the funds? If we were to set up our own shop, we would be in direct competition with the food bank for money and donations. That was not an option for us. All we wanted to do was continue to share what we were so abundantly given with as many families as possible.