Redmond Nourishing Network starts Food Box Program | Letter

Redmond is a great place to live. We enjoy a beautiful slice of the Pacific Northwest with a healthy economic base, safe neighborhoods, good schools and a wonderfully diverse community. But things could be better.

There are real people, elementary school children, in Redmond who don’t have enough to eat. For many of us, that is astonishing and unacceptable. Redmond Nourishing Network tackles identified gaps in the “system” where real needs are not met, and we work to see if we can get the system to close those gaps.

There is daily assistance for food insecure children with free and reduced meals at school. There is weekend food assistance through Pantry Packs started by a resolute Redmond elementary school librarian. Nourishing Networks decided to tackle the four school breaks where neither Pantry Packs nor school meals were available. The Food Box Program is aimed at easing hunger for these children and their families during school breaks.

The Food Box Program provides nourishing supplemental food such as oatmeal, canned soup, vegetables and fruit, rice, beans, and fresh produce to families who choose to participate.

Redmond Nourishing Network has seen the success of Food Box programs in Kirkland and Issaquah. We’ve decided to start the program in Redmond. Our initial effort will begin with just one school and expand to others as we gain momentum. This supplemental food program will offer support over four school breaks: Thanksgiving, Christmas, mid-winter and spring breaks.

Redmond Nourishing Network is made up of those who respond to the identified need and volunteer to help. It’s easy to join, and it is more meaningful than you know. Not only are the children and families helped who receive the food, the donors are changed, as well. Knowing that you have helped a neighbor who truly has not enough to meet basic needs is one of the most rewarding things you will ever do. One student told a teacher after Kirkland’s first food box drive that she had never had a Thanksgiving before.

You can join the ranks of Redmond Nourishing Network by signing up to donate a Food Box or get a group to come together to sign up. For more information or to sign up, visit the website http://www.nourishingnetworks.net/redmond/ and click on the link.

Fran Wessling

Redmond




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