The Arlington and Marysville community food banks were again among the beneficiaries of this year’s National Day of Service and Remembrance, thanks to the Arlington stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints conducting their third annual food drive from Sept. 9-14, to honor the memory of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
“This event included support from dozens of businesses, churches and organizations in Arlington, Marysville, Stanwood, Camano Island and Darrington,” said Cyndy Thompson, director of public affairs for the Arlington stake of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Since we first held this community food drive in 2011, hundreds of volunteers from each of these communities have invested numerous hours in collecting, weighing, sorting and packaging the foods donated for delivery to the food banks.”
Thompson explained that community members were encouraged to drop off non-perishable food items at donation boxes in local grocery stores and businesses, and that volunteers were on hand at many grocery stores to accept those donations. She further reported that volunteers logged 769 hours of service to collect 26,876 pounds of food and $8,850 in financial donations this year, which were distributed to seven separate food banks. The Marysville Community Food Bank received 11,066 pounds of food and $2,199.12, while the Arlington Community Food Bank received approximately 1,500 pounds of food and $1,200.
“This year’s event was a stellar success,” said Dell Deierling, director of the Marysville Community Food Bank. “The volunteers did an incredible job of seeking out donations, and the community responded exceptionally. We were thrilled to see nightly deliveries of food during the week, one pallet after another.”
According to Deierling and Marysville Community Food Bank volunteer Amy Howell, these food and financial donations are invaluable in bridging the supply gap that typically emerges prior to winter each year.
“We’re usually low on staples this time of year, while we wait for all the holiday food drives to start,” Howell said.
“A huge thank-you goes out from us to the churches, organizations, businesses and community members that made this such a successful food drive,” Deierling said. “What a wonderful and supportive community we have.”
Sue Keezer, president of the Arlington Community Food Bank Board, echoed Deierling’s appreciation for the contributions of the volunteers and community alike.
“We could not serve the residents of Arlington without the generous donations of our community and organizations like the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,” Keezer said. “With the holidays right around the corner, and as we get ready to build a new food bank in Arlington, every pound of food, and each dollar donated, goes a long way.”