A news blog for Seattle's Phinney Ridge and Greenwood neighborhoods


Family Works and Salvation Army opening new food bank in Greenwood on Wednesday

April 18th, 2016 by Doree

After the Volunteers of America Greenwood Food Bank at 9041 Greenwood Ave. N. closed last month and clients were referred to other food banks, including the North Greenwood Food Bank in Bitter Lake, The Salvation Army’s Greenwood temple and Wallingford’s FamilyWorks teamed up to create a new food bank for our neighborhood.

The Greenwood Food Resource Center opens Wednesday at The Salvation Army, 9501 Greenwood Ave. N. It will be open to clients – individuals and families – from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday. FamilyWorks, which also operates a food bank and family resource center in Wallingford, will supply the food and staff for operations. The Salvation Army will provide volunteers.

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Greenwood Food Bank closing March 30, many clients moving to new North Greenwood Food Bank in Bitter Lake

March 15th, 2016 by Doree

The Greenwood Food Bank at 9041 Greenwood Ave. N. will close on March 30 after Volunteers of America of Western Washington sold its building. Clients are being transitioned to other area food banks, including the North Greenwood Food Bank inside the Senior Housing Assistance Group development at North 130th Street and Linden Ave. N., which opened last summer.

“It’s awesome,” Chris Robinson, VOAWW Director of Development & Communications, said of the North Greenwood Food Bank, which is in a storefront next to the Bitter Lake Community Center. “It’s totally changed how people think of food banks.”

The new North Greenwood Food Bank is the ground floor storefront at center and right.

The new North Greenwood Food Bank is the ground floor storefront at center and right.

Robinson said VOAWW opened the North Greenwood Food Bank so it could serve both ends of the Greenwood Avenue corridor. VOAWW gets that SHAG space rent free, allowing it to spend more money on food and other services.

VOAWW’s old building, which houses the Greenwood Food Bank and Greenwood Community Center at 9041 Greenwood Ave. N., was put up for sale last spring after VOAWW lost $53,000 in city funding, but VOAWW didn’t know how long it would take to sell or what any potential buyer’s plans would be, so they were unsure about the long-term prospects of that food bank. The city still provides the VOAWW with $6,000 per year for its food home delivery program for seniors and the disabled.

The current Greenwood Food Bank, at 9041 Greenwood Ave. N., will close March 30.

The current Greenwood Food Bank, at 9041 Greenwood Ave. N., will close March 30.

Mark Johnson, VOAWW Vice President of Development & Communications, said paying rent on a permanent space is not cost effective when the food bank is only open one or two days a week. So they’ve experimented with a pop-up food bank at a church in Everett and were able to double the amount of clients served, and had built-in volunteers from the church. So that’s the model that VOAWW is now looking to.

Johnson said the North Greenwood Food Bank sees more clients on a daily basis than the south end Greenwood Food Bank, and 75 percent of them are seniors. He said VOAWW is focused on serving areas with the greatest need and gap in services, explaining that our area has several nearby food banks that serve the same zip codes.

“It put us in a more highly dense population, and many of the seniors we did home delivery to already lived in that area, and even in that complex,” Johnson said of the SHAG development. “The big thing for me is that people know that we’re not leaving the area. I feel a lot has been made about the city cutting the funding. But for us, whether that funding was there or not, we’re looking at how best to use donor resources and better serve our clients.”

VOAWW’s website has a list of other local food banks that clients can access. See that list for information on all zip codes served and hours of operation. Here are the basics:

  • North Greenwood Food Bank: 13000 Linden Ave. N. Serving 98103, 98133, 98117 and 98177 zip codes. However, beginning April 1, it will only serve residents in the 98133 and 98177 zip codes.
  • Phinney Ridge Lutheran Church Food Bank: 7500 Greenwood Ave. N., www.prlc.org, 206-783-2350.
  • Ballard Food Bank: 5130 Leary Ave NW, www.ballardfoodbank.org, 206-789-7800. Serving: 98107, 98117, 98119, 98199.
  • Bethany Christian Church Food Bank: 8023 Green Lake Dr. N., www.churchbcc.org/missions/local-outreach, 206-524-9000.
  • University District Food Bank: 1413 NE 50th St., www.udistrictfoodbank.org, 206-523-7060. Serving: 98102, 98103, 98105, 98112, 98115, 98125.
  • Blessed Sacrament Food Bank: 5050 8th Ave NE, www.blessed-sacrament.org, 206-547-3020.
  • Epic Life Church Food Pantry: 10510 Stone Ave N., www.epiclifechurch.org, 206-552-9586.
  • North Helpline Food Bank: 12736 33rd Ave NE, www.northhelpline.org, 206-367-3477. Serving: 98115, 98125, 98133, 98177, 98011, 98028.
  • Hopelink: 15809 Westminster Way N., Shoreline, www.hope-link.org, 206-440-7300. Serving: 98133, 98155, 98160, 98177.

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Reminder: Phabulous Pig Out is Wednesday to raise money for hunger programs

October 8th, 2013 by Doree

The annual Phabulous PhinneyWood Pig Out is tomorrow (Wednesday). Eat out early and often to help raise money for the Phinney Neighborhood Association’s Hot Meal Program. Thirty neighborhood restaurants, coffee shops and pubs will donate a portion of their sales that day to the Hot Meal Program.

Participating restaurants:

  • 74th Street Ale House
  • The Angry Beaver
  • A la Mode Pies
  • Baranof Restaurant
  • Barking Dog Ale House
  • Blue Glass
  • Blue Bird Ice Cream
  • Diggity Dog
  • Fresh Flours
  • Gainsbourg
  • In the Red Wine Bar
  • Kalbi Grill Express
  • Kouzina
  • Makeda Coffee
  • Martino’s
  • The Olive and Grape
  • Oliver’s Twist
  • The Park Pub
  • Prost!
  • Red Mill Burgers
  • Ridge Neighborhood Pizza
  • Razzi’s Pizza
  • Santa Fe Café
  • Tangerine Thai
  • Teachers Lounge
  • Tim’s Tavern
  • Stumbling Goat
  • Wingdome
  • Yanni’s

Metropolis is donating balloons to mark all participating restaurants that day.

If you can’t eat out that day but want to make a direct donation, please send a check to: PNA, Hot Meal Program, 6532 Phinney Ave. N., 98103.

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Reminder: Children in need can still receive free lunch and snacks at several sites this summer

August 21st, 2013 by Doree

Just a reminder that children 18 and younger can get free lunch and sometimes breakfast or snack through the Summer Meals Program.

Two of the three sites in our neighborhood will end their summer meal program this week:

  • Broadview-Thompson Elementary School, 13052 Greenwood Ave. N., serves free breakfast from 8:30-9 a.m. and lunch from 12-12:30 p.m. This Thursday is the last day.
  • Bitter Lake Community Center, 13035 Linden Ave. N., serves lunch from 12-1 p.m. and snack from 3-4 p.m. this Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Viewlands Elementary, 10525 3rd Ave. NW, will serve lunch from 12-1 p.m. Monday-Friday through next Friday, Aug. 30.

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Help others during Hunger Action Week

March 28th, 2013 by Doree

This is Hunger Action Week and many volunteers will be at Greenwood-area grocery stores on Saturday conducting Food Security Surveys.

According to United Way of King County, one in five children in King County live in families which struggle to access healthy, affordable food. United Way tells me they’re concentrating most of their survey volunteers in or near our neighborhood this weekend.

Volunteer survey-givers are still needed. Go to the website to sign up. You can also see a list of local anti-hunger projects.

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Hunger Intervention Program expands Healthy Food Backpacks Program to Viewlands Elementary

February 8th, 2013 by Doree

The Hunger Intervention Program (HIP) provides backpacks full of healthy, kid-friendly foods to 40 North Seattle elementary school children each weekend. Starting on Feb. 22, HIP will expand the program to two more elementary schools, including Viewlands, 10525 3rd Ave. NW.

Viewlands has one of the highest numbers of children in the district relying on free or reduced price school meals.

The Healthy HIP Packs Program is a food backpack program that provides meals for children at risk of hunger when they are out of school. Each Friday, backpacks are discretely filled with enough food for six meals and two snacks per child and include information on nutrition and community resources… (T)he foods included in the pack are complete meals and emphasizes whole grains, milk, high quality proteins, fresh fruits, and products with no added sugars.

“We always welcome donated funds as well as donations of healthy, quality foods that can be included in the HIP Packs,” added Murphy. “If anyone is interested in hosting a food drive, we can provide information to do so. We know that hungry kids can’t learn and this program directly delivers food to where it is needed most.”

Donors have provided HIP with enough money to provide weekend food for up to 20 children at each of the two new schools. HIP hopes to increase that to 40 children at each school every week by the end of the next school year.

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Greenwood Food Bank critically low on food

August 15th, 2012 by Doree

The Greenwood Food Bank announced today that it is running critically low on food. The Food Bank now has less than four days’ worth of food.

“The Greenwood Food Bank typically has a supply of 8 distribution days of food. Right now, we have half of that in our stock,” Leann Geiger, Director of Food Bank Services at Volunteers of America, said in a press release. “Food donations have continued to decrease and we are concerned that we will run out of food.”

Food donations typically decrease in the summer, even though school-age children no longer have access to school meal programs and rely more heavily on food banks. Geiger says the food bank also has not been able to replace the 4,000 pounds of food each week that the Greenwood Market donated, before closing in early February.

Fifty-percent of the Greenwood Food Bank’s clients are children and seniors.

“If you have been thinking about making a donation, now is the time. The needs at the Food Bank will continue to increase as summer ends and we begin to approach the holiday season. A donation of just one dollar can purchase three meals, and anyone can make a difference with just a dollar,” Geiger says in the press release.

Items the food bank needs the most include canned meat, boxed meals, and kid-friendly foods such as macaroni and cheese and canned fruit. Donations are accepted at the Greenwood Food Bank, 9041 Greenwood Ave N., from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. You can also donate online or send a check to Volunteers of America, 9041 Greenwood Ave. N., Seattle, WA 98103.

The food bank is also looking for volunteers to help with food deliveries and pick-ups. If interested, email volunteers@voaww.org.

They’re also looking for a new Warehouse Lead Volunteer:

The Greenwood Food Bank is looking for reliable and involved community members willing to volunteer part time as a Warehouse Lead Volunteer. The Food Bank has recently moved to an all-volunteer run program model, the first food bank of its size in Seattle to do so. Without the support of volunteers, we would not be able to serve the 4,000 clients that come to the food bank each month. This volunteer opportunity is perfect for someone who wants to take on a leadership role in the organization, gain experience with the internal workings of a food bank and a non-profit, and make a real, tangible difference in their community. Please contact Alice at (206) 782-6731 or amaclean@voaww.org for more information.

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Umpqua Bank holding food drive for Greenwood Food Bank

January 23rd, 2012 by Doree

The Phinney Ridge branch of Umpqua Bank is holding a food drive for the Greenwood Food Bank.

Sydney Pawlak, the food bank’s AmeriCorps*VISTA Community Outreach Coordinator, tells me that Umpqua felt “compelled” to help out after our story describing how the food bank would lose 4,000 pounds of groceries a week when the Greenwood Market closes in early February.

The food drive runs from today through Jan. 31. Umpqua Bank is at 7120 Greenwood Ave. N.

The food bank especially needs donations of:

  • Canned & Boxed Meals (e.g. soup, macaroni & cheese, etc.)
  • Individual-Sized Fruit Cups (e.g. apple sauce, fruit cocktail, etc.)
  • Fruit Juices (e.g. canned, plastic or boxed) Peanut Butter & Jelly
  • Cereal
  • Beverages: (e.g. shelf stable milk, juice, etc.)
  • Canned Meats (e.g. tuna, chicken, etc.)
  • Snacks (e.g. Graham Crackers, Fruit Snacks, etc.)

The Greenwood Food Bank, at 9041 Greenwood Ave. N., serves more than 3,000 people a month; half are children and seniors.

If anyone else in the neighborhood is holding a food drive for the Greenwood Food Bank, please let us know in comments below.

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Greenwood Food Bank to lose 4,000 pounds of groceries a week when Greenwood Market closes

January 6th, 2012 by Doree

The Greenwood Food Bank collects vegetables, fruit, milk and other groceries from local stores to help feed the hungry. But no local grocery store has consistently given as much as Greenwood Market, which will close in early February to make way for an expanded Fred Meyer.

Patty Leach, program manager for the Greenwood Food Bank, which is run by Volunteers of America, says that Greenwood Market donated 183,911 pounds of food and health care products to Greenwood Food Bank last year.

“The Greenwood Market made an incredible difference in our community, they donated not only nutritious healthy meat, dairy, fruits and vegetables but so many basic need items like laundry soap, personal hygiene items etc,” Leach said in an email. “The community supported the food bank weekly always making sure the food drive barrel was full on the scheduled pick-up day. Volunteers of America would like to express our gratitude to everyone for knowing the need in our community and for all your willingness to make a difference.”

This morning I tagged along as food bank employee Ken Stout picked up his usual load of food from Greenwood Market. Stout said he usually picks up about 1,000 pounds of food on each of his four trips to the store each week.

“They’ve been a very, very generous organization,” Stout said of Town & Country Markets, which also owns Ballard Market, Central Markets in Shoreline, Mill Creek and Poulsbo, and a Town & Country Market on Bainbridge Island.

Today, Stout was greeted with a large rolling cart of fruit and vegetables, another cart of dairy products, a grocery cart full of crackers and other boxed food, and another cart of ground coffee, flour and miscellaneous items. The food bank barrels at the front of the store, where customers can donate, brought in another fully-loaded cart.

The store, and customers, donate not only food but health products such as soap, shampoo and toothpaste. Stout has to weigh all the donations before loading it into the van.

Greenwood Food Bank employee Ken Stout weighs every box of donated groceries.

Today Stout drove away with 944 pounds of food. He expects his 1,000-pound average to be less and less as it gets closer to the store closing date, since they won’t be ordering as much inventory.

A full van of groceries collected from Greenwood Market on Friday, Jan. 6.

The good news is that when Fred Meyer reopens in the late fall with a full grocery section, it will partner with Food Lifeline/Feeding America to donate groceries to Greenwood Food Bank.

“Almost every one of our 132 stores is on this perishable donation program and it results in more than 4 million pounds of food donated to food banks each year. In Western Washington, Food Lifeline agencies receive about 2 million pounds,” Melinda Merrill, Fred Meyer’s Director of Public Affairs, told me in an email.

But there will be a gap of nine or 10 months between the time Greenwood Market closes and Fred Meyer reopens, and the food bank is hoping the community can help out.

“We are working very hard on building new relationships and appreciate this opportunity to get the word out that if our local businesses and churches would like to host a food/fund bin during this transition time we would greatly appreciate their help,” Leach said. “We currently have a food bank donation bin located in the Greenwood Safeway for the community. For every dollar used to support the food bank last year we were able to provide 3 meals. We are always grateful for the opportunity when folks hosts food and fund drives for the food bank! To learn more and stay informed join us at our Community Volunteer Night the 2nd Friday of the month from 6pm-8pm or the 4th Saturday of the month from 9am-11am.”

The Greenwood Food Bank is located at 9041 Greenwood Ave. N.

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