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

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.