The Table is a place for the community to gather, learn, grow, and be nourished, both physically and spiritually. It is where we can come together and be reminded that we are all in this together and have something to contribute. The Table is also a space for challenging conversations and celebrating our victories; it is a space for our community to come together for impactful support of our neighbors needing help.
In this story from The Table, I thought it would be good to focus on those voices we have heard and those that the work has most impacted. If you have ever donated your time, talents, or money to The Bonney Lake Food Bank, you have contributed in a meaningful way, and for that, we thank all of you.
A common perception that many not familiar with food banks and food insecurity have (based on my personal experience) is that the lion’s share of those we serve are homeless. While that is an important part of the population we support, it is a small minority.
The reality is that most of those that come to us for assistance are families and individuals that are our neighbors. These people are holding down jobs and doing their best to make ends meet but, because of some unforeseen circumstance, need our help.
Many of those that we serve and that many of you have helped to support over the last few years are new to these circumstances and found themselves here due to the impacts of the pandemic, health emergencies, family challenges, and a variety of other issues. We don’t ask those questions and serve anyone who comes through our doors (and we always will), but because of the positive impacts that many of them have seen due to our model, they have volunteered to tell a few of their stories.
Here are a few quotes from your neighbors:
“We are 69 and 72 years old and due to health and disability issues, and transportation issues, this has been a real blessing. It is embarrassing to find ourselves in this situation when we have been such productive people in our earlier years. We are not giving up, this boost until then is so appreciated. “
“I use the market for an 89 yr old senior citizen who can't drive, has no retirement, no source of income including SSI (due to deceased husband's career), and is disabled due to multiple strokes. I provide free, licensed care to her. The market helps me provide essential food for her. That would be out of my pocket, and I couldn't afford it alone. I currently work two jobs, am a single mom, and take care of her, living couch to couch to make it. Unfortunately, the system has failed me numerous times, more so since covid, from basic needs to housing. Without the market, my family would not survive. “
“We love the Market. We like the atmosphere and the people that work and volunteer at the market. We live on a fixed income our food dollars are stretched to the limit. We have had our house payment go up by four hundred dollars in the last two years. The market helps us with our food budget. I feel the market let's people choose what they need and want. Thank you so much for serving our community. “
“I am a single woman who cannot handle the large amount of groceries that a once-a-month food bank enforces. I have cancer and am 57 years old. Furthermore, I am a victim of repeated crimes in the past so I have a lot of trauma. The Market provides me dignity, respect and I can glean according to need. Their way of operating as a food service for the poor and down and out is greatly appreciated. I am not healthy and would suffer without the market. “
Inspiring? We think so.
Now, our ask.
The Market is a space for community, and we need your help to ensure it can continue to be available for those in need today and those that will inevitably walk through our doors tomorrow.
We are asking you to donate for Giving Tuesday. If you are not familiar with Giving Tuesday, it is:
"a global generosity movement unleashing the power of people and organizations to transform their communities and the world"
Your donation will support the many programs and services, including The Market, our innovative Smart Lockers, and our programs that help kids.
If we all commit, it will allow us to continue to offer this space and grow it to meet the needs of our community. Here’s a guide that will let you know the impact of your donation:
$25 will enable us to provide 175 families with nutritional food
$50 will provide 500 students with weekend food to stay nourished and return to school ready to learn
$100 will allow us to pick up a week's worth of nutritional foods from grocery stores and local farmers
$250 will allow us to text our customers monthly with essential resources and information
$500 provides monthly support for an innovative place our customers can shop with dignity
$1000+ supports our staff who fight hunger on the Frontline everyday
Join or increase donations to Team28 to invest in the long-term sustainability of The Market and ensure your neighbors in need have a safety net for food access