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Albertsons employees honored by Union Gospel Mission
By Linda Ball
Norm Hummel, the kitchen supervisor at Seattle's Union Gospel Mission served 26,800 meals in January. Astounding as that may sound, consider the fact that a low breakfast day means serving 320 men, women and children.
One day in February 408 people came for breakfast, 220 for lunch and 400 came for dinner. The need isn't just for the homeless, but the Mission is seeing people it has never seen before - the unemployed and underemployed.
Hummel was at the Mercer Island Albertsons February 22, to honor store manager John Gillespie and several other employees for their generous donations of food to the Mission. In addition to Gillespie, Chris Smith the store's meat manager, meat cutter Mitch Parker and produce manager Craig "Snappy" Wesley were honored.
"We love helping out," Wesley said.
Ninety-five percent of the food the Mission serves is donated. Hummel said it had been 20 years since he was in the food services business when he took the job at the Mission. Hummel said that over 200,000 meals were served at the Mission last year.
"There are more and more people with need," he said.
Gillespie has been with Albertsons for 41 years, starting out as a box boy. He has been at the Mercer Island store for 12 years. He said they donate dairy, bakery, produce and meat to the Mission. When the pull date on a product is reached, they freeze it for donation. Gillespie said there is nothing wrong with the food, but it just isn't as desirable for display in the market. They also donate prepared sandwiches which the search and rescue van carries with them to deliver to those who don't or can't make it to the shelter.
Albertsons also donates food to Friends of the Needy, who take the food to various women's shelters. He said the shelters are feeding 28 families per week.