Tucked behind the Holy Disciples Parish building off of 187th in Graham, it might be easy to miss the Graham-South Hill Nourish Food Bank.
“Many people in Graham, South Hill, Puyallup, they don’t know that we are here.” Julie, the Nourish food bank manager says. “If you’re having a hard time, come and visit the food bank. It can seem scary at first, but we’re here to help.”
The food bank has been helping people from this location since 2003. As part of their proposal to purchase the land years ago, the Holy Disciplines Parish committed to establish a food bank on site in addition to their regular offices.
Before the food bank settled in at the building owned by the parish, it moved every few years. Vern and Shirley Pierson, long-time parish members, helped to get a food bank started in the Graham area. “This food bank had about four different locations all over the Graham area before we moved in here.” Julie says.
In its current location, the food bank has its own building with large refrigerators and freezers, plus a separate storage building. Last year, the Graham-South Hill Nourish Food Bank distributed 794,000 pounds of food to people in need.
A community forms among the clients. “Clients watch out for each other.” Julie says. “They check in on each other. If the clients haven’t seen someone for a while, they will start to ask around to make sure people are ok. Sometimes we don’t see people because they got a job and don’t need our help anymore, but sometimes they don’t have transportation to get to the food bank. So, someone will give them a ride.”
The food bank is open Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, but, work happens at the site every day of the week. “We could use more volunteers, even on Tuesdays and Thursdays, the days we restock.” Julie says. She said they especially need volunteers who can lift boxes to restock shelves as well as volunteers who help clients as they pick up food. “It takes at least 12 volunteers every day the food bank is open.”
Katie, Julie’s daughter, has been volunteering at the Graham-South Hill Nourish Food Bank for years. She recently graduated and continues to volunteer. She says, “I think sometimes young people don’t volunteer because they feel like they’re too busy with everything in their lives. But, we really need young people to come in and help too!”
To support the Graham-South Hill Nourish Food Bank, sign up to volunteer or make a donation.