Service Update – COVID-19 Response

March 11, 2020

Dear Nourish community,

We received word that an individual who may have been exposed to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID -19) had contact with our mobile food bank.

Out of an abundance of caution concerning potential exposure, service by the Nourish Mobile Food Bank at the following sites will be temporarily suspended until March 23.

  • Bethlehem Lutheran Church
  • Giaudrone Middle School
  • STAR Center
  • Former Spanaway Elementary School
  • Roy-Near Chevron
  • Bethel High School
  • Tillicum Baptist Church
  • Woodbrook-American Lake Bldg
  • Salishan Family Investment Center

We are unable to verify this possible exposure. However, we believe we must take action to ensure all in our Nourish family remain healthy.

Again — This precaution is in response to the possibility that there has been an exposure to the Coronavirus (COVID-19).  We are unable to confirm or verify exposure at this time.

If you have visited these mobile food bank sites and have concerns about COVID-19, we recommend that you seek updates and information from public health organizations such as the Tacoma Pierce County Health Department,  World Health Organization (WHO) or the U.S. Centers for Disease Control or consult with your healthcare professional.

We continue to closely follow information and guidance from the Department of Health, CDC and the Governor’s office and it is possible that new recommendations may change the way we provide services.  For now, food distribution service continues as regularly scheduled at our other 17 Nourish locations.  Any changes to service will be announced on our website and through our social media platforms.

Thank you.

Sue Potter
Chief Executive Officer

Volunteer Drivers and Loaders Urgently Needed

Can you feed 66,000 of your Pierce County neighbors? If you volunteer with Nourish Pierce County, you can.  We are in urgent need of Volunteer Drivers to load and transport food from our retail partners to our food banks and warehouse. We also need volunteers to help load our trucks every weekday morning at our warehouse in SE Tacoma.

Please contact Operations Manager, Mark L’Esperance, at 253-365-4287 or email at, for more information.

Together, we can nourish our neighbors in need.

Safeguarding the Health of Our Community

To all Customers and Volunteers:  As we monitor the COVID-19 virus in Washington state, we want you to know that Nourish considers your health and safety a priority.  We are sharing important information that can help our entire community stay its healthiest.  Please do your best to follow the guidelines distributed by the Centers For Disease Control (CDC):

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Stay home when you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, such as fever or chills and a cough or sore throat.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

Customers: If you are feeling ill and need food, please arrange for a healthy friend or family member to “shop” for you.  Please instruct your friend/family member to check in under your name.  If you must come to the food bank, please notify staff immediately upon arrival that you are ill.  They will ask you to wait in your car or outside away from others while someone shops for you.  We will do our best to make sure you get the food you need.

We all appreciate your help in keeping everyone healthy.


Nourish Begins Operations in Salishan

The Mobile Food Bank at Salishan.

In January, Nourish’s mobile food bank began operations in Tacoma Housing Authority’s (THA) Salishan property. On the first day of service, the food bank hosted approximately 50 clients. Most had never visited a Nourish food bank. At all Nourish food distribution sites, clients select food for every member of their household. This means 163 people benefited from opening day at the Salishan site.

Inside a Nourish Mobile Food Bank.

Trish Mozo, Education Services Program Specialist with THA expects this number will increase as word spreads among residents. “This will have a huge impact on the community. Many folks are in wheelchairs or don’t have cars or money for the bus. This will serve a real need.”

This is Nourish’s 19th Mobile Food Bank distribution site in addition to seven “brick and mortar” food bank locations. The Salishan site, located near the Salishan Family Investment Center at 1724 E. 44th St, Tacoma, operates Fridays, 1pm – 3pm.

Engaging the Community to Feed More

From hosting donors at fundraising events, to helping to coordinate food drives with local organizations, or working with our more than 1,000 volunteers, nothing is more rewarding for those of us at Nourish than engaging community members in our mission of feeding our neighbors in need. That is why we are so excited to announce the launch of a new hands-on service project hosting area corporations, businesses and community groups participating in meal packaging events. Nourish has partnered with The Outreach Program to work with corporate and community volunteer groups to assemble dried non-perishable meals which are then distributed throughout our 26 food bank locations.

Sound Credit Union staff participate in a meal packaging event.

Based in Iowa, The Outreach Program is a nonprofit corporation which partners with organizations throughout the United States to host food packaging events. Meal packaging events engage people to give back to their community. Volunteers work together in an assembly line to create protein enriched meals such as pasta with tomato-basil sauce or Minestrone soup.

By partnering with The Outreach Program, Nourish has the opportunity to involve local organizations to join our mission to provide nutritious food for people in need in Pierce County. “The Outreach Program is a great way to engage volunteers in our work and to educate the community about food insecurity in our county,” explained Sue Potter, Executive Director, Nourish Pierce County.

The pre-packaged, dry food is an excellent option for Nourish food banks. Many of our customers walk or take the bus to the food bank. Because of the way The Outreach Program meals are packaged, they are easy to carry and transport regardless of age or physical ability. Additionally, because our mobile food banks serve five community and technical colleges in the area, many of these students have classes till late in the evening. Offering them frozen foods is not always an option if they can’t keep it refrigerated. The Outreach Program meals offer a great, delicious, shelf stable alternative. These meals are also easy to prepare.

“At our food banks, 32% of the people we serve are kids 18 and under. The Outreach Program meals can be made with just hot water, so if a child is old enough to boil water or use a microwave, they can eat.” – Sue Potter, Executive Director, Nourish Pierce County.

Sound Credit Union is a wonderful example of a local organization committed to giving back to the community. Making the most of a recent federal holiday when their branches are closed, a group of approximately 40 employees spent the afternoon at the Nourish warehouse packaging 1,500 meals.

“We had fun with it since we are a competitive group,” explained Jen Reed, VP Public Relations. “Each line of employees packing meals tried to keep up with the other, looking at ways we could be more efficient. It was a fun competition, connecting with one another while serving the community.”

Prior to volunteering at the Nourish warehouse, the group held a food drive, collecting more than 1,300 pounds of food. “We all really enjoyed it. I’m hearing back from the staff that they want to find more ways to engage in volunteer opportunities.“ said Reed.

Nourish asks for donations to offset the cost of materials needed for these meals. All packing events take place at the Nourish Warehouse and are hosted by awesome and energetic Nourish staff members.
To schedule a Meal Packaging Event, call us at