MARYSVILLE — As winter approaches and the need for food and clothing grows greater with the nearing holidays, the volunteers of the Seeds of Grace Distribution Center at the Allen Creek Community Church want to remind Marysville that there’s more than one food bank in town striving to serve the city’s less-fortunate citizens.
“We serve about 175 families a week,” said Michelle Turner, director of Seeds of Grace. “That adds up to about 500-some-odd individual adults and children a week who could use food, clothes, small household items, toys ... just about whatever the community can donate, we can take in.”
Turner reported that this season has already seen a 10 percent increase in their previous client base.
“That 10 percent is made up of people we’ve never seen here before,” Turner said. “A lot of them find us by dialing 2-1-1. As it’s gotten colder, they’re even more in need of our services. We have a lot of homeless people who don’t have cooking facilities or even can openers, so we look for food with pull-top cans. Just a couple of jars of peanut butter and jelly can sustain them for a few days, since we have so much bread that our leftovers are recycled by local farms. Nothing goes to waste.”
Seeds of Grace’s clothing bank sees a steady demand for coats, pants and especially men’s underwear throughout the fall and winter.
“Where else are they going to get men’s underwear?” Turner asked.
With no government support, Seeds of Grace relies on the generosity of Marysville’s Goodwill and grocery stores, including Albertsons, IGA, Haggen, Goodwill and Safeway, as well as the dedication of as many as 15 volunteers, including the drivers and sorters who pick up food items from those stores that are at or near their pull dates.
“We also want to thank the Victory Foursquare Church in Marysville for their gracious gift of two ‘new to us’ walk in coolers,” said Turner, who added that Seeds of Grace also inherited a number of volunteers and clients from the Victory Foursquare Church’s since-closed food bank.
In addition to staffing Seeds of Grace’s food distribution times from 9-11 a.m. on Thursdays and Saturdays, excluding holidays, volunteers have also stepped up to assist during the new distribution times of 2-3 p.m. on Wednesdays for seniors, aged 65 years and older, and the disabled, the latter with state ID.
As is the case with many food and clothing banks for those in need, Seeds of Grace itself is always in need of more volunteers.
“However much time they can give is fine,” Turner said. “We have some folks who volunteer here a couple of hours each week, and others who stop by two or three times every week. However long you can stay, we can find a place where you can help out.”
While Seeds of Grace receives a tithe from the Allen Creek Community Church, it could still use help with its expenses as well.
“It costs us $75 a week just to cover our gas,” Turner said. “When you add up the costs of auto insurance, supplies and renting this space, it’s hundreds of dollars a month.”
Those who are interesting in volunteering for or supporting Seeds of Grace can stop by the Distribution Center, during its distribution times, in Suite B-2 at 7302 44th Ave. NE in Marysville, email them at firstname.lastname@example.org or log onto their website at http://ac3.org/content/Seeds_of_Grace.