MARYSVILLE — The first of the Marysville Community Food Bank’s three days of Thanksgiving meal food distributions saw a slight increase from last year, at the same time that the Food Bank has been impacted by the significant loss of one of its food sources.
“We’ve served 85 people within 80 minutes of opening our doors,” Marysville Community Food Bank Director Dell Deierling said on Friday, Nov. 16, at 10:20 a.m. “We’ve got 156 people checked in, less than two hours into our first day of handing out Thanksgiving meals.”
Deierling estimated that Nov. 16 would see the Food Bank serve approximately 250 clients, up slightly from the 234 clients that it served on the first day of its Thanksgiving meal food distributions last year. With 666 clients served during all three days of last year’s Thanksgiving meal food distributions, Deierling expressed confidence that the Food Bank could serve 720 clients through Monday, Nov. 19, and Tuesday, Nov. 20.
At the same time, in spite of a recent $20,000 donation by the Tulalip Tribes, Deierling acknowledged that the Food Bank’s supply and demand trend lines are both “headed in the wrong direction,” between a 2 percent decrease in food donations and a 9 percent increase in the number of client visits compared to this time last year.
“When the Albertsons in North Marysville closed, we lost the 2,000 pounds of food a week they were sending us,” Deierling said. “We’re looking into more sourcing funds and grants just to keep up. I’m already talking with someone who’s proficient in grant writing.”
Deierling held up the Food Bank’s relationship with the Tulalip Tribes as a model that he’d like to see echoed as the Food Bank seeks to develop relationships with new donors.
“The Tribes understand that we’re a solid nonprofit that will do good with their money,” Deierling said. “And, of course, the community is still super-important and a critical element of our success. We have so many volunteers and donors who once came to us for help, and are now providing what help they can in return.”
While he welcomes donations of large turkeys for Thanksgiving and Christmas, Deierling also requested that prospective donors include gifts of small and medium-sized turkeys and hams, for more mid-sized families.
“We’re always looking for ways to stretch our dollars and our donors’ dollars, and while we’re perfectly okay with giving a big bird to a more medium-range family, getting two smaller turkeys would allow us to feed twice as many families.”
Although it’s not a traditional holiday food item, Deierling also asked donors to contribute the one type of food item that flies off the Food Bank’s shelves faster than any other, all year round — cans of tuna fish.
“We’re always running out of tuna,” Deierling said. “Ninety-eight percent of our families always take one can each, which is all that we can give them. It’s the one item I buy the most.”
The Marysville Community Food Bank’s Christmas meal food distribution dates are tentatively set for Monday, Dec. 17, Tuesday, Dec. 18, and Friday, Dec. 21. Their Toy Store will be open at the Dunn