As you shop at the Proctor Farmers’ Market in Tacoma on Saturday mornings, you may not realize that there is a food bank operating close by.
Located at the Mason United Methodist Church at 27th and Madison, the Northwest Tacoma Nourish Food Bank provides food to those in need in our community. Every Wednesday and Saturday afternoon, the food bank opens its doors and welcomes people in need from all over Tacoma and the rest of Pierce County.
In 2018, the Northwest Tacoma Nourish Food Bank provided food to clients nearly 49,000 times, totaling over 440,000 meals. Brenda says that many of the clients speak Ukrainian and Russian.
Brenda is the food bank manager at Northwest Tacoma Nourish Food Bank. In February, she joined Nourish as our newest food bank manager in February. Brenda grew up in the military and served in U.S. Coast Guard herself. She earned a master’s degree in nonprofit management and has worked in nonprofits for more than 15 years.
Brenda manages the day-to-day operations of the food bank and oversees the volunteers. Last year, volunteers contributed 10,304 hours of their time at Northwest Nourish, the equivalent of 5 full-time staff people. Many of the volunteers come from the churches in the area, including St. Marks Lutheran by the Narrows, First Christian, Zion Lutheran, Redeemer Lutheran, Bethany Presbyterian and Mason United Methodist.
“The dedication of the volunteers that serve here amazes me every day.” Brenda says. “They all go out of their way to ensure our clients feel welcomed. Visiting a food bank is never fun but our volunteers are great at making people feel at ease and valued.”
The food bank has a strong relationship with the Proctor Farmers’ Market. At the end of the market, leftover fruit and vegetables is taken over and delivered to the food bank, to be shared with people in need in the community. The food bank also receives fresh vegetable donations from the pea patch garden at Orchard and Vine.