Northwest food banks helping more families than ever

Dec 3, 2010

Across the Northwest food banks are seeing more customers than ever. Now, Washington’s Department of Agriculture is asking farmers to increase their produce donations to aid the state’s hungry.

The numbers speak for themselves. In Washington, food banks saw a 16 percent increase in hungry families over the last federal fiscal year. Oregon saw a 20 percent increase over the last fiscal year and Idaho food banks served 31 percent more this year than last. Washington’s Department of Agriculture is preparing to call out formally to the state’s farmers for help. Food bank workers like Peny Archer of Moses Lake, Washington, says it’s hard to keep up with the demand. She says the long grind of this down economy has worn out many families who were able to make-do before.

“It is just getting harder and harder and harder for the families to recover. Instead of trying to make up a year or so, now they are going on three, or four or five years,” says Peny Archer.

Archer says more people give during the holidays, even if they are running thin themselves. But she says February though April are some of the toughest months for food banks.