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Mercer Islanders who use YFS food bank have doubled
Donations of nonperishable food are not covering the current needs of clients at the Mercer Island Food Pantry, says Cheryl Manriquez, Family Assistance and Employment Coordinator for the City of Mercer Island Department of Youth and Family Services. The food bank, located in the Luther Burbank Administrative Building in Luther Burbank Park, has had to use emergency funds to purchase food to stock the shelves so that the approximately 125 Mercer Island client families who rely on the Food Pantry monthly will have food.
“Many Island residents are surprised that there are families experiencing food scarcity living on Mercer Island,” Manriquez said. “In fact, the number of the food bank’s clients, all of whom have documented Mercer Island residency, has doubled in the past five years, and approximately half of the client families have children under the age of 18 living at home,” she added
The food bank’s website has a list of donation items that are most needed, which include cereal, soups, tuna, peanut butter and jelly, pasta and sauces, school lunch snacks and canned fruit. Please do not donate expired food, Manriquez said. Monetary donations are always welcome.
Donations can be sent to Mercer Island Youth and Family Services, 2040 84th Ave. S.E., Mercer Island, Wash., 98040, to the attention of Cheryl Manriquez. Note on the check that the donation is for the food bank. Donations of both cash and food are tax-deductible.
Donations may also be made at Banner Bank on 78th Avenue S.E., the Mercer Island Community and Event Center at 8236 S.E. 24th Street, Albertsons grocery store at 2755 77th Ave. S.E., and the Mercer Island Thrift Store at 7710 S.E. 34th Street.
The Food Pantry needs volunteers to sort food, conduct food drives and transport donated food. Potential volunteers should contact Evonne Nobel at Mercer Island Youth and Family Services, at (206) 275-7811 or Evonne.Noble@mercergov.org.
Manriquez adds that donations feed Mercer Island families and “help local children get a good breakfast so that their body and brains are sent to school nourished and ready to learn.”