Nourish in The News-Edgewood

On December 15, 2022 KING5 visited our Edgewood Nourish Food Bank to learn about the Ukrainian Refugees that visit our food banks. Our own Kate Wright was FANTASTIC! We are so excited about the communities we are helping.

SEATTLE — With less than two weeks until Christmas, food banks say they’re seeing an increase of families trying to put food on their tables. 

For the Edgewood Nourish Food Bank in Pierce County the winter holidays mark the busiest time of the year.

“The one thing that broke my heart was seeing those little young families and children and imagining them leaving their home. I can’t even fathom it,” said Kate Wright the food bank’s manager.

Food banks across the country saw an increase in demand over the course of the pandemic – this one saw a second spike this year when Russian troops invaded Ukraine.

“When the war broke out, probably about a month into it suddenly, we started getting all these news customers that were refugees from the Ukraine,” Wright said.

Nerdera, who did not provide her last name, came to the US from Ukraine a few years ago and now she drives new refugees to the food ban once a week. This week is special as her daughter is now safely out of Ukraine and with her in Washington state.

“Last Wednesday they come here,” Nerdera said. “This day feels very good.”

One at a time, families are left to shop on their own where they load up on what they need ahead of the holidays. A food bank that now serves more Ukrainians and Russians than ever before.

“I do see a lot of community, a lot of community, they don’t all obviously know each other but when they get here they start to get to know each other,” Wright said.

So many are starting over and are using the resources available as a step up until they find their footing in a new country. All while a war rages, and has for nearly a year, in the country they left behind. 

Edgewood Food Bank in The News

Nourishing Your Neighbors

Taken from the Northwest Harvest Website at

Northwest Harvest

Nourish, a network of food banks in Pierce County, aims to provide nutritious food and support services to people in need with compassion, dignity, and respect. Their vision is to turn scarcity into security.

miniature shopping cart filled with mini grocery items and Nourish Pierce County logo on front

Nourish operates six fixed location food banks and fourteen additional mobile food bank sites. Each food bank is set up like a grocery store, lined with pasta and fresh produce. Shoppers are provided enough food to make at least three meals for three days for each individual in their family. Nourish also helps clients move to a more stable future by providing information on housing, medical support, government subsidies, and community resources.

Nourish established the first mobile food bank in Pierce County, in order to serve parts of the county that would otherwise not have access to a traditional food bank. The mobile food banks operate out of semi-trucks that you can enter and browse for both refrigerated and shelf-stable items.

two Nourish staff members stand outside of Nourish Edgewood location

We visited the Edgewood location, a Nourish food bank that is about to celebrate its 20th anniversary, to learn more about their work and recent changes in the communities they support. Kate Wright, Edgewood food bank manager, shared that their location has seen a 42% increase in need from January, 2022 to January, 2023. Not only has the need for their services increased in general, but the county has also seen a significant rise in Ukrainian refugees who have been displaced from their home country due to the ongoing war in Ukraine.

Many Ukrainian families find their way to the Edgewood food bank through word of mouth in faith communities. As more shoppers from Ukraine started to arrive, and in an effort to provide foods “that make it feel like home,” Kate and her procurement team have been working hard to provide items that are staples in Ukrainian cuisine: canned salmon, pickles, sour cream, buckwheat, beets, cabbage, and certain spices. The team also prioritizes translating signage into both Russian and Ukrainian, in addition to Spanish and Korean to ensure guests are able to access their resources with as few barriers as possible.

Food Bank Manager Kate holds artwork done by local Ukrainian girl

As demand for food bank services increase and lines have grown longer, the Edgewood team has gotten creative about making the wait to enter and shop as pleasant as possible. They provide chalk to families with young children and encourage them to decorate the sidewalk with their art. One young girl from Ukraine showed particular talent in her chalk drawings. Edgewood staff loved her art so much, they asked the family if they could commission her to make two paintings for their upcoming annual fundraising dinner and auction. The family agreed and the girl’s artwork will be auctioned off at the event in May, allowing the Edgewood team to continue to provide resources to their community.

Stellar Shout Out- Gavin Reeber

We are so happy to have Volunteers Like Gavin Reeber working with us! Gavin was chosen as one of 6 Lakewood Community Members to be featured in their Lakewod Heroes Campaign for the 2023 Celebration of the Life of Dr. Marin Luther KIng, Jr.

Congratulations to Gavin and all of our volunteers who live a life of Service to Others.