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NFL Kick Hunger Challenge Duo to Donate $44,000 to Shoreline's Food Lifeline

Residents can donate to the Food Lifeline as well, among other nearby food banks, as part of National Canned Food Month.

Seattle Seahawks Taste of the NFL chef representative John Howie and player alumni Craig Terrill will present Food Lifeline with a check for $44,000 today.  The duo, along with the support of Seahawk fans, led their team to victory against a field of all 32 NFL teams participating in the Kick Hunger Challenge.

Howie has been a Taste of the NFL Kick Hunger Challenge participant for the last 9 years and has collectively raised $122,205 for Food Lifeline, Western Washington’s largest non-profit food distribution agency, during that time.

It's also a fortuitous time for the donation. February is National Canned Food Month, highlighting local food banks' need for donations of canned food year round to meet the needs of many hungry children and adults in the area.

Shannon Traeger is a spokesperson with Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief charity. She says this year, according to the United States Department of Agriculture, there are “more than 50 million Americans, including nearly 17 million children, that are food insecure, meaning they live at risk of hunger.” And the face of hunger is changing. “Just because a person has a job, does not mean he or she has enough money to put a meal on the table, and, in fact, 36 percent of client households served by the Feeding America network have one or more adults working.” 

In Microsoft’s hometown of Redmond, WA, the nonprofit Hopelink is providing solutions to hunger, often utilizing canned food donations.  Debra  Grant, director of client services, manages Hopelink’s five food banks, which serve almost 7,000 people a month. She says, “The biggest need is for protein items  such as tuna and canned meats. Also canned meals such as chili and spaghetti are always welcome. Other needs are canned fruits and vegetables and canned tomato products. Tuna and peanut butter are also always in demand.”

Keep in mind when donating canned food that “unfortunately we can't use unlabeled cans or home-canned products or cans with large dents. Very large cans from the warehouse stores can be difficult to use in our food banks, as we aren't able to open the cans and divide them between families,” explains Grant.

Smaller, specialized nonprofit programs also use canned food goods to feed their clients. Redmond, WA's Pantry Packs works to alleviate food insecurities for almost 500 students in need, from preschool through high school, by providing weekly food packs via student backpacks.

Every week, volunteers fill packs with kid-friendly food for the weekend. Packs are distributed each Friday via school staff and/or PTSA volunteers. Kids are able to take the packs home to help supplement what their family has on hand. Potential clients for the program are identified by school counselors or the families themselves and the confidentiality of students and their families is protected. 

Founder Shauna Yusko says that canned food donations are an important part of the mix of food provided to Pantry Packs’ clients. "Our students often have both parents working outside of the home, leaving older siblings to cook for younger ones, so we look for food products that are easy to open and prepare, such as easy pull lids on cans of prepared ravioli. Canned food donations that are needed most include: chicken noodle soup, ravioli, chili and canned fruit/veggies.” 

To help people in need nearby, consider donating canned goods at the following locations:

Hopelink

15809 Westminster Way N, Shoreline, WA 98133

 

About Food Lifeline

Food Lifeline stocks the shelves and fill the tables of 275 food banks, meal programs and shelters throughout Western Washington. The 35 million pounds of nutritious food it secures from restaurants, grocery stores, farmers and manufacturers feeds 745,000 people every year. Find out how you can be a part of ending hunger in Western Washington at www.FoodLifeline.org.

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