UW News

November 13, 2008

Donations sought for University District food bank, where need is greater than ever

The current economic slump means the University District Food Bank is busier than ever, receiving more than 4,600 requests for groceries in October — about 800 more requests than the same time last year. What’s more, donations are down “across the board,” said Assistant Director Bill Lowie, leaving the food bank in the lurch with a need that is beyond its capacity.

The UW community can help ease the burden by participating in the 24th annual UW Holiday Food Drive Nov. 10 to Dec. 12. Faculty and staff can donate by placing non-perishable groceries, toiletries, baby food and supplies in one of many collection barrels throughout campus. Click here to see a full list of items the food bank currently needs.

There are about 50 collection barrels on campus, according to U-District Food Bank Executive Director Joe Gruber, including barrels in the HUB, Hall Health, Suzzallo Library and several faculty offices. Another 20 barrels are located in the UW Medical Center. If you would like to host a collection barrel in your building, or to find the barrel nearest you, contact the U-District Food Bank at 206-523-7060 or udfb@udistrictfoodbank.org.

In 2007, the U-District Food Bank distributed 1.4 million pounds of food over 38,779 client visits. About 900 families receive food and supplies from the bank every week. Approximately 2 percent of its clients are infants, 20 percent are children, 68 percent are adults and 10 percent are senior citizens.

Lowie said past food drives have brought in between 5,000 and 7,000 pounds of food. “It would be great if we could do that this year,” he said. “Or, even better — more.”

The U-District Food Bank is buying more food than ever to meet the increasing need, but still depends on donations for about 85 percent of the food it distributes. UW Vice President of Human Resources Mindy Kornberg said the food bank helps many people in and around the UW community who need help making ends meet. “We hope faculty and staff will continue their long-standing generosity by making a donation to help someone who is closer to them than they might realize,” she said.

For more information about the U-District Food Bank, visit online at http://www.udistrictfoodbank.org. The food bank is located in the basement of the University Christian Church on the corner of 15th Avenue NE and NE 50th Street.