YFS food pantry supply low, usage high

The Youth & Family Services food pantry, located in the Luther Burbank Administration Building at the park, is in need of donations as its usage has increased by 36 percent as compared to last summer. It has no more than a two-week supply on hand, and it serves an average of 10 Mercer Island families on a weekly basis with a user breakdown as follows: unemployed, 30 percent; low-income, 30 percent; disabled persons, 23 percent; senior citizens, 10 percent; homeless, 7 percent.

The pantry accepts nonperishable food item donations such as soup, protein drinks, nut spreads, jams, beans-rice meals and pastas, to name a few, as well as grocery gift cards and toiletries. It also offers food cards in the amount of $50. It does not accept produce or fresh foods. All donations are tax-deductible.

If supplies of a certain essential item run out, as items are contributed by local churches, service organizations and families, Family Assistance and Employment Coordinator Cheryl Manriquez will grocery shop to fill the need through the Emergency Assistance Fund in order to “stay ahead.” Manriquez is striving to get 12 people to commit to provide one food item for a six-month basis.

For more information or to arrange making donations, contact Cheryl Hudson Manriquez at 275-7611 or Derek Franklin at

Hats off

Erica Breese, of Mercer Island, graduated from Emory College of Emory University in Atlanta, Ga., with a Bachelor of Science in May. She is the daughter of Dr. John Sydney Breese and Emily Seklar Breese. Emory University is ranked as one of the country’s top 20 national universities, according to “U.S. News & World Report.”

Mercer Islander David Paul Stechmann graduated from the Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, Mass., with a Master of Science in mechanical engineering in May.

John Hollowed, of Mercer Island, received a Bachelor of Arts in biology from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., in June. Hollowed is the son of John and Anne Hollowed.

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