Although I am the newest employee at the Bremerton Foodline, I am not new to Bremerton and I am not new to food bank leadership. I’m grateful to be here and as I settle in with my new team, in a new building, in a community I haven’t lived in for 30 years, I’m reminded how prevalent food insecurity is everywhere!
The role of food pantries and food banks across this nation goes well beyond emergency commodities. Food pantries started popping up across the country in the early 1970’s as an emergency stop gap for families who were struggling. Today, food pantries are utilized not only as one time emergency food supplies but as a key weekly staple that increases self-sustainability. When a family can save $200-$300 per month by shopping at the Bremerton Foodline, that family can reallocate those dollars to pay for gas to get to work, keep their power on, or buy school clothing for growing children.
Over the years, as the reliance and need for food pantries has increased, so has the need for food banks to provide nutritional, diverse, and healthy food options. The whole food system has had to grow and adapt to meet the needs of those struggling with food insecurity. It is no longer sufficient for us to just provide bread, peanut butter, and canned goods. We do our best to keep our freezer stocked with meat, our fridge with dairy products, and our shelves with fresh produce, grains, and culturally appropriate foods. Food insecurity throughout Kitsap County is not a small issue and accessing enough resources to meet the growing need is a big challenge. Bremerton Foodline is up for the challenge!
Bremerton Foodlines’ vision for the future includes working in collaboration with partners, increasing the number of individuals that have access to our services, growing our volunteer and donor base, and assessing needs and gaps in our community so that we can develop creative solutions and programs! None of this will happen overnight but we hope you continue to join us on this journey to make life a little easier for our neighbors.