Marysville, Tulalip food banks benefit from 'Helping Hands, Linking Arms'

Volunteer Bobbi Bryant sets out crescent rolls for clients at the Marysville Community Food Bank. - Kirk Boxleitner
Volunteer Bobbi Bryant sets out crescent rolls for clients at the Marysville Community Food Bank.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — The second annual "Helping Hands, Linking Arms" week of service in remembrance of the events of Sept. 11, 2001, will once again be benefitting the Marysville and Tulalip food banks, as well as the "Seeds of Grace" program at Allen Creek Community Church.

From Monday, Sept. 10, through Saturday, Sept. 15, donations may be dropped off at the Albertsons, Allen Creek Thriftway, Batter's Box Batting Cages & Mini Golf, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Fred Meyer, Grocery Outlet, Haggen Food & Pharmacy, Quiznos Subs and Safeway locations in Marysville.

Marysville Community Food Bank Director Dell Deierling commended the organizers and volunteers of last year's "Helping Hands, Linking Arms" for a "smoothly-run operation" that generated 2,205 pounds of food for his clients, right when his shelves were at their emptiest.

"The 'Helping Hands, Linking Arms' food drive brings the community together at critical times to help support those in need," Deierling said. "With the number of families coming to our food bank up 8 percent this year, we're challenged to meet that need, especially with food donations down 6 percent and financial donations down 10 percent. This time of year is when our inventory of food hits its low point, prior to people reaching out to give during the holiday time period."

Deierling noted that the Marysville Community Food Bank has served more than 500 first-time client families so far this year, and added that 40 percent of those served are children.

"That statistic makes me sick," Deierling said.

Among the canned food items in demand at area food banks are vegetables, milk, beans, tuna, chicken, pasta sauce, cranberry sauce, stew, chili, soup, fruit juice, pasta, Crisco, SpaghettiOs, vegetable oil and canola oil. Among the boxed or packaged food items requested by local food banks are peanut butter, spaghetti sauce, cereal, Rice-A-Roni, oatmeal, dry pasta, macaroni and cheese, syrup, pancake mix and stuffing mix.

Client families of those food banks are also running short on diapers, wipes, diaper cream, baby shampoo, baby food, baby cereal, formula and toddler snacks. Donations of toilet paper, laundry detergent, shaving cream, feminine hygiene products, razors, toothpaste, bar soap, shampoo, conditioner, toothbrushes and deodorant are likewise useful and appreciated.

Deierling expressed confidence that the Marysville community would pitch in to ensure that this year's "Helping Hands, Linking Arms" yields even more dividends for those in need.

"If you can give, please give," Deierling said. "If you are in need, please come. Let's all work to keep the cycle of support alive."

David Flake of Camano Island, a spokesperson for the "Helping Hands, Linking Arms" committee, joined Deierling in predicting that this year's campaign will exceed last year's totals, as more community members become aware of the opportunity to work together to alleviate hunger.

"The hope is to have participation from all areas of the community, including churches, businesses, service groups, government entities and individuals," Flake said. "Last year, we were thrilled to have so many people from those different organizations step forward and take leadership roles. The successes that we experienced were only made possible by the united efforts of those great community partners."

The Marysville Community Food Bank is located at 4150 88th St. NE, behind St. Mary's Catholic Church, and may be called at 360-658-1054.

Those interested in taking part in this year's "Helping Hands, Linking Arms" food drive may call Donny Wilcox at 425-931-2275, about volunteer opportunities ranging from collecting food to assisting with the official weigh-ins.

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