In the Press

New warehouse at Bellingham Food Bank nears completion

Mike Cohen’s world dramatically changed starting in 2007, when the nation’s economy started to sour.

Cohen is the executive director of Bellingham Food Bank. Before 2007, he said, the number of people using food banks rose and fell with population growth, with most people accepting food to tide them over during a short setback. But as the economy worsened, more families starting showing up for free food, and they showed up more often and for longer periods of time.

Small farms make big impact on food bank

This growing season has been busy for the Bellingham Food Bank, thanks in large part to local farmers and individual growers who donated produce as part of one of three programs operated by the Food Bank. This year the programs—Victory Gardens, Small Potatoes Gleaning Project, and Food Bank Fresh—accounted for a whopping 300,000 pounds of local, fresh, and high-quality produce that the Food Bank was able to give residents in need.

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Bellingham students work with food bank to help hungry families

One of the best parts of my job as director of Bellingham Food Bank is going to local schools and talking with elementary and middle school students. Over the past two weeks, I’ve had the pleasure of talking with and picking food up from Shuksan Middle School, Fairhaven Middle School, and Roosevelt Elementary School. Each school community did fantastic food drives for our food bank. But, even better than the food that was collected, was the conversations I and other staff were able to have with the students.

Whatcom County food drive raises more than 300,000 pounds

By Dave Gallagher | The Bellingham Herald | October 29, 2014

A new record was set at the annual Feed the Need Community Food Drive.

The event gathered 315,493 pounds of food for area food banks this year, topping the previous record in 2012 of 312,000, said Kim Sutton, food drive coordinator.
Organized by Industrial Credit Union, Haggen Inc. and the Cascade Radio Group, the food drive had different events throughout the year.

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Bellingham Food Bank starts $2.3 million expansion


A $2.3 million expansion will allow the Bellingham Food Bank to nearly double in size for its increasing role as an emergency food hub for Whatcom and San Juan counties. Construction began Tuesday, July 15, when an adjacent home bought by the nonprofit in November 2010 was demolished to make way for a bigger food bank at 1824 Ellis St.

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Students grow, harvest food for Bellingham Food Bank

All summer long, students at the Associated Students Outback Farm have been harvesting vegetables at the farm and delivering them by bicycle to the Bellingham Food Bank.

Students are boxing and delivering 134 pounds of leafy greens and root crops. So far this summer, the students have donated 496 pounds of vegetables to feed those in need.

The Outback Farm, located between Fairhaven College and Buchanan Towers on the Western Washington University campus, is run by the Associated Students and Fairhaven Colelge; it helps students learn to raise and harvest crops, raise chickens and farm bees, among other things. An outdoor amphitheater in the farm is used for educational and entertainment events.

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Whatcom County Executive Works to Stop Hunger

Whatcom County recently applied for a $750,000 Community Development Block Grant on behalf of the Bellingham Food Bank to help expand their warehouse, supporting their role as a regional distributor of Food Lifeline. Whatcom County Executive Jack Louws played a key role in supporting and facilitating the application: “Whatcom County plays a vital role in many community activities including senior services, mental and physical health programs, youth addiction prevention programs, and a host of housing programs for our citizens. That’s why it was appropriate for the County to support the grant for the expansion of the Food Bank, which distributes goods through the county and region,” Louws said.

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Victory Gardeners, farm partners help fill Whatcom County food banks with fresh produce


The average date of the last frost in Whatcom County is still two weeks away. That’s two more weeks that I’ll need to coddle along the flats of tender vegetable starts crowded onto the sunniest windowsill in my house. Predictions are that this might be a mild year, but I’m not taking any chances. This means my personal garden is still a month out from producing much of anything.

Many Whatcom County farmers and gardeners are in a different camp, however, and that’s a good thing for Bellingham Food Bank.

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19th Annual Food Drive Spreads the ‘People Helping People’ Philosophy Across Washington’s Whatcom County

In a county where the unemployment rate tops nine percent and 44 percent of the people using community food banks come from working families, it would be awfully easy to become disillusioned and lose faith in the idea of “people helping people.”

But then you watch school district employees and families collect 10,000 pounds of food for their neighbors. You watch children donate as much food as they can carry in their backpacks to a nearby collection station. You watch hundreds of people brave high winds and heavy rain to raise more than $5,000 at a Food Truck Roundup.

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Food for Thought is our quarterly e-Newsletter. You will stay up to date on our work and get to meet some of the great folks we get to experience each day. Check out some back issues of Food for Thought and sign up to receive upcoming copies of the newsletter.

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2017 By The Numbers

Together, we grew hope. Here’s a glimpse at what we made happen in 2017.

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2016 By The Numbers

Together, we grew hope. Here’s a glimpse at what we made happen in 2016.

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Garden Beet

The Garden Beet newsletter comes out during the gardening season and is shared with all Garden Project participants. It has lots of great information about organic growing in the Pacific Northwest, healthy recipes, and fun, garden-related activities for kids.

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Gardening Guide

Interested in gardening? Our Gardening Guide is a great tool to help you grow fresh veggies right here in the Pacific Northwest. It’s got information about when to plant, where to plant, how to plant and so much more. If you’re thinking of gardening, or already do and just need some help, this guide is for you!

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