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Food bank hands out holiday baskets to Marysville families

From left, Navy Chief Petty Officer Rusty Young helps Marley, Tristan and Peter Woods select deli items at the Marysville Community Food Bank Nov. 19. - Kirk Boxleitner
From left, Navy Chief Petty Officer Rusty Young helps Marley, Tristan and Peter Woods select deli items at the Marysville Community Food Bank Nov. 19.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — The holiday season can make it even more difficult for already struggling families to make ends meet, which is why the Marysville and Arlington food banks are once again distributing holiday food baskets and gifts to their clients.

The Marysville Com-munity Food Bank handed out its Thanksgiving meal baskets on Nov. 19, 22 and 23.

Marysville Community Food Bank Director Dell Deierling said that the food bank is facing a greater-than-expected need this holiday season.

“We have 865 people registered for holiday food baskets this year, up from approximately 600 last year,” Deierling said. “We’d planned for a demand of 10 percent more than last year, but this is an increase of nearly 50 percent. The food we thought we’d be able use for Christmas, we’re having to use now. Our signups will probably approach 1,000 by the time we’re done. This tells me that we’ve got a lot of work to do.”

Deierling credited the U.S. Navy with helping the food bank offset some of this shortfall, since area sailors have collected close to two tons of food in the past few weeks alone. Petty Officer 2nd Class Chris Martin, of Navy Recruiting District Seattle, was one of 25 sailors who stopped by the Marysville Community Food Bank Nov. 19 to help the food bank’s regular volunteers serve their holiday influx of clients, who were literally lined up around the building.

“We realized how much need there was when we saw long lines like this starting early in the morning,” Martin said. “We’re not just ‘transients.’ We’re part of this community. We live here. Our kids go to school here. Our families work here. I remember growing up and going to food banks and soup kitchens for 18 years before the Navy gave me the opportunity not to do that anymore. My boss, who’s in charge of four states, stood in food lines when he was younger. We’ve been there, and now we’re giving back.”

Deierling explained that clients who had signed up for Thanksgiving meal baskets are already signed up for Christmas meal baskets. At the same time, he noted that those who aren’t already food bank clients, or who haven’t been since July 10, need to sign up for their Christmas meal baskets by Dec. 10. Marysville Community Food bank Clients are also eligible to shop at its Toy Store Dec. 17, 18 and 20.

Clients can collect their Christmas holiday food baskets at 4150 88th St. NE on Dec. 17 from 9-11 a.m. and on Dec. 21 from 3-6 p.m., while seniors aged 62 years or older and physically disabled clients will be able to receive their holiday food baskets on Dec. 20 from 9-11 a.m. These food baskets will be offered in addition to the two times that a client can come in for food during that month.

“We’ll be releasing information in the first part of December as to its exact location and times,” said Rita Henry, who’s overseeing the coordination of this year’s Toy Store. “The Toy Store is at a different location each year because we always rent a vacant building, and we don’t release too many details beforehand to help avoid thefts.”

Henry explained that clients can choose to receive either a holiday food basket, a trip to the Toy Store or both, but added that even those who only wish to shop for toys must sign up as clients of the food bank by Dec. 10.

“Anywhere you see those big red barrels around town, that’s where you can drop off donations for the Toy Store,” Henry said. “We’d like to have all those in by Dec. 15 or 16, so that they’ll be ready in time for our Toy Store shoppers.”

The Marysville Community Food Bank can be reached by phone at 360-658-1054, or by logging onto http://marysvillecommunityfb.com.

The Arlington Food Bank dispensed its Thanksgiving meal baskets on Nov. 23 and will do the same for its Christmas meal baskets on Dec. 21, from 2-7 p.m. at 127 1/2 W. Cox. Ave.

Arlington Food Bank volunteer Sarah Katanik explained that those who wish to receive holiday food baskets must be signed up as clients of the food bank by Dec. 10. Gifts will be dispensed to families in need after they’ve received their Christmas meal baskets.

“We could always use more donations,” Katanik said. “And if you want to adopt one of our families in need, just contact us to let us know.”

Katanik can be reached by phone at 425-220-3585, and the Arlington Food Bank is open from 6-7 p.m. on Tuesdays and from 1-2 p.m. on Fridays.

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