Local food banks seeing more demand because of COVID-19 will receive more staples such as pasta, stews and soups thanks to a donation by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
The church tapped one of its storehouse’s in Salt Lake City for the 40,000-pound donation, which arrived at Community Action of Skagit County’s Food Distribution Center in Sedro-Woolley last week. The facility serves as a hub for local food banks.
The church also donated equal amounts to similar facilities in Whatcom and Snohomish counties.
Cole Bitzenburg, the Community Action food manager, said the group is grateful for the donation.
“Coming from any one group that’s not a greater hunger-relief organization, it’s quite significant,” Bitzenburg said. “It’s very nice product and will help restock the pantries.”
He said the delivery was heavy on pasta such as macaroni, which is often popular and in demand. It also includes canned tomatoes and various stews and soups, among other products.
In pre-COVID times, Bitzenburg said, such a donation would represent about a quarter of what the facility would receive per month. Now, more food has been moving through the center because of increased demand, he said.
Bitzenburg is glad to have the donation to bolster the center’s food in a time of greater demand.
“They came through phenomenally,” he said. “It’s phenomenal nutrition for the community and its needs.”
The church was happy to help.
“We can all find ways to help those in need. There are tremendous needs in our community right now, and we’re grateful to partner with the Distribution Center to bring comfort and hope to our neighbors,” David Flake, a local ecclesiastical leader for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Skagit County, said in a news release.
Jon Beutler Jr., director of communications for the church, said the donation was in the works even before the COVID-19 outbreak. The church had an excess of some products and wanted to get them to those in need.
“They’re in a position to help people. They’re not going to let things go to waste and want it to go to where it can be used,” he said.