Give the gift of food this season | Editorial

It’s a universal feeling. The hours have whisked by and suddenly it is lunch. You are starving and the thought of eating that thick tomato soup or fresh salad makes your mouth water.

But what if you never got to eat? What if you went hungry well past noon and then early evening and then bedtime?

For some island families and senior citizens, not having enough food in their homes is a reality. And the Orcas Island Food Bank is here to meet those needs, especially in the winter months when seasonal work is harder to come by.

The nonprofit, which was established in 1984, has an average of 388 client visits each month, representing  approximately 864 family members, up slightly from 2013.  Between Sept. 1, 2013 and Aug. 31, 2014, volunteers delivered an estimated 136,410 pounds of food products.

This year, the food bank has seen some exciting changes.

It is partnering with Orcas Senior Services to implement a new senior outreach service that delivers groceries every Friday to seniors unable to leave their homes.

The organization is in the process of placing a new 180-square-foot modular building behind the existing building that will eliminate off-premises storage and allow them to receive and store more goods for distribution.

Thanks to our generous local farms, home gardeners and the Master Gardener Gleaners, the food bank has received a tremendous amount of fresh fruits and produce this year.  They will be purchasing a new, large commercial refrigerator that will keep larger amounts of dairy and produce items fresher, longer.  This was made possible by donors through the Orcas Island Community Foundation.

The Orcas community sustains the food bank’s ability to provide supplemental groceries for those having to make the impossible choice between rent, utilities, childcare, gas, medications and food.

How you can help

• Mail a check for any amount payable to the Orcas Island Food Bank, PO Box 424, Eastsound 98245

• Arrange with your bank to make an automatic, monthly or quarterly transfer of any given amount to OIFB.

• Designate OIFB as a recipient in your endowment or legacy plan.

• Bring unused, unopened, non-perishable items to the drop box on the north side of the Food Bank building, located at 116 Madrona Street, or the Senior Center, Key Bank or the post office in Orcas.

• Hold a food drive or fundraising event to benefit the food bank.

•  Subscribe to the Islands’ Sounder. For a limited time, the Islands’ Sounder will donate a portion of your subscription on Orcas Island Food Bank. For each new one year subscription, we will donate $5. For each new two year subscription, we will donate $10.