BRINNON — The Brinnon Food Bank was featured on the WhyHunger website as an example of how food banks serve their community through partnerships with Northwest Harvest.
Brinnon was featured in a video, along with other Washington food banks, to show the impact of a 2014 partnership between Northwest Harvest, WhyHunger and Hunger Is, a joint charity from the Albertsons Companies Foundation and the Entertainment Industry Foundation.
The video can be seen on the WhyHunger website at http://tinyurl.com/PDN-whyhungervideo.
Brinnon was featured due to the recently implemented Northwest Harvest Kids Summer Food Club. The program supplies meals for children during the summer, filling the gap for students who rely on free or reduced meals from their school during the school year.
Brinnon is a small town with a population of just over 800 and a median income of under $30,000, which is less than half of the state median income.
According to the Local 20/20 website, which lists all the food banks in Jefferson County, the Brinnon Food Bank serves roughly 65 families each week.
Brinnon is considered a food desert since the nearest grocery store is roughly 40 miles away, according to Eloise Langenbach, coordinator for the Brinnon Food Bank.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, food deserts are usually low-income communities with little access to affordable fresh food, especially fruits and vegetables. These areas tend to see higher rates of childhood obesity and other diet-related issues due to the lack of health food available and the easier access to processed foods.
Brinnon, along with the other five Jefferson County food banks, work with Northwest Harvest to ensure fresh food gets to smaller rural communities.
Northwest Harvest works with 375 food banks and meal programs across the state to help supplement other local efforts and donations.
In 2014, Northwest Harvest supplied 30,000 pounds of food just to the Brinnon Food Bank.
Low-income people in Washington struggle with the high costs of living and a regressive tax system, according to the Northwest Harvest website at www.northwestharvest.org. However, the state is also an agricultural hub.
According to the state Department of Agriculture, in 2016, the state produced $2.4 billion worth of apples, $813 million worth of potatoes and $657 million worth of wheat, among a number of other agricultural products.
Northwest Harvest attempts to use some of that agricultural wealth to feed the 1-in-6 Washington residents who rely on their local food banks.
The Brinnon Food Bank is located at 306144 U.S. Highway 101 in Brinnon and is open Tuesdays from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. for donations and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. for food pickup.
The food bank recently put out a call on the Brinnon Community Facebook page asking for donations specifically for the holiday season. To contact Langenbach, call 360-796-4027.
Jefferson County Editor/Reporter Cydney McFarland can be reached at 360-385-2335, ext. 55052, or at [email protected].