By Nora Schindler
“There’s a food bank near here?” That’s the question several people asked the volunteers from Holy Disciples Catholic Church at a recent food drive. They were told the food drive was for a food bank located about one mile south east of where they were. The food went to the Graham South Hill Fish Food Bank at Holy Disciples, it’s located near the corner of 187th and Meridian. This food drive was held at Fred Meyers at the corner of Meridian and 176th on April 1. Although the food drive lasted only 5 hours, it brought in 1500 lbs. Of food, 60 lbs. Of non food and almost $500.
I asked Julie Wiesen, the director of the food bank, about the people served and how the food bank operates. The food bank serves about 5000 people a month. Every month there is an increase. The people served cross every age group. A lot of seniors are having trouble making their pensions cover their expenses. They make up the fastest growing group. Developmentally disable people and physically disable people need easy to fix meals. Some of the people are in combined households. Friends who cannot afford to live alone move in together. They still need help putting food on the table. Some children come home to an empty home because their parents are still at work. They also need something to eat that is easy to fix. The homeless also come in for assistance.
Although Holy Disciples Catholic Church had the building the food bank is in specially built, anyone can receive food there. In order to receive food a person needs to be a resident of Pierce County and meet the financial requirements. When they come in they need to bring identification and proof of address. They also need identification for every member of their household including children.
This food bank is open on Mondays and Fridays from 10:00 – 1:30 and Wednesdays from 2:00 – 6:00. The food bank is always in need of peanut butter, canned fruit, fruit juice, and easy cook items such as stew and soup. They can always use money. All food donations need to be non-perishable.
A lot of churches donate to the food bank. It also receives donations from stores, and the government. Schools have helped out with food drives. Holy Disciples keeps a food donation box at the back of its worship space. Non members of the parish can walk up to any church greeter and hand a donation before any church service or drop off a donation at the parish office during regular office hours. Checks can be mailed to the Holy Disciples business office a t the address below. Please make the check payable to the South Hill Fish Food Bank. Money donations allow the food bank to make purchases.
About sixty people volunteer at the food bank. Julie can use more people. They stock shelves, assist patrons, break down bulk food, and get the food ready. She has a special need for someone to go pick up the food. To offer to help please call Julie at 253-846-3805 or stop in when the food bank at Holy Disciples is open. To get to the food bank take bus 204 to the corner of 187th and Meridian. By car from Puyallup, drive south on Meridian , turn left at 187th from Graham, turn right at 187th and Meridian. Everyone please follow the curve about a quarter of a mile and take any left turn in the Holy Disciples parking lot. The food bank is at the north end of the campus. The address is 10425 187th St. E., Puyallup 98374.Holy Disciples Catholic Church plans to have another food drive at the same Fred Meyers on Saturday, Oct. 6th. The hope is to have food drives on a regular basis.
Nora Schindler is a member of Holy Disciples Catholic Church.