Edgewood is a small community in the valley of the Puyallup River, just south of the King County line, east of Fife and north of Puyallup.
Fifteen years ago, members of the Mountain View Lutheran Church in Edgewood reached out to Nourish, called FISH Food Banks of Pierce County at the time. The congregation saw a need for a food bank in their community, especially for the working poor.
Working in partnership with the church, Nourish opened the Edgewood Food Bank in April 2003 inside the pastor’s house on the church campus. After three years, the congregation decided that it was time to expand. The original building was razed and, in 2007, the church broke ground on a new building that had both community center space with meeting rooms and room for Nourish’s 4000 square-foot food bank.
Nourish’s Edgewood Food Bank is downstairs from the Mountain View Community Center. The Community Center invites the food bank clients in to wait inside before they pick up their food. On Thursdays, the Community Center provides a free, community meal, so many food bank clients can have a meal at the same time they visit the food bank.
As Edgewood and its nearby communities have changed, the number of visitors to the food bank have changed as well. In its first full year of operation, the food bank had about 9,000 client visits and distributed 76,000 pounds of food. Fifteen years later, in 2018, the Edgewood Nourish Food Bank distributed 1,158,685 pounds of food during more than 66,762 client visits.
The clientele has also changed over time. While there are still a significant number of individuals who are working who visit the food bank, the number of seniors and those with medical issues has greatly increased. The Edgewood location has also seen an increase in the diversity of languages and cultures in the clients who have visited in recent years.
Edgewood’s food bank manager, Kate, is the only staff person who works on site, so volunteers are essential to keeping it in operation. Kate estimates that it takes about 90 volunteers each month for the food bank to keep its doors open.
Before each service, Kate talks with her volunteers. She reminds her team, “this food bank does not run because of me, it’s all the volunteers who put in all these hours who keep this place running.”
A few years ago, Kate sat down and did a short interview about her role as the manager of the Edgewood Nourish Food Bank. Her message about how many people are hungry for meaning and community still resonates.
To support the Edgewood Nourish Food Bank, sign up to volunteer or make a donation.