Mike La Grange, manager of the Lincoln Street Safeway store in Port Angeles, left, and employee Sheryl Switer, who help organize the store’s food drive, chat on Saturday next to a display of food bags for purchase to benefit the local food bank. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Mike La Grange, manager of the Lincoln Street Safeway store in Port Angeles, left, and employee Sheryl Switer, who help organize the store’s food drive, chat on Saturday next to a display of food bags for purchase to benefit the local food bank. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)

Friendly rivalry to raise money for food banks

A friendly competition beginning today between Port Angeles and Sequim Safeway stores will culminate with a pie in a face.

Mayor William Armacost of Sequim and Deputy Mayor Navarra Carr of Port Angeles have agreed to make an annual food bank fundraiser more interesting than usual, according to Mike LaGrange, manager of the Safeway on Lincoln Street in Port Angeles.

“Every year, Safeway teams up with Northwest Harvest and KING 5 news to help out those in need,” LaGrange said.

This year the stores in Sequim and on Lincoln Street in Port Angeles are having a one-week challenge to see which store brings in more for local food banks, he said.

Beginning today and ending Saturday, the two stores will track all Hunger Bag donations, with the aim of raising at least $20,000 for each food bank during the week.

At 5 p.m. next Sunday, Dec. 21, the mayor, or mayor’s representative, of the losing city will travel to the other city’s Safeway and take a pie in the face.

Carr is representing Port Angeles because Mayor Kate Dexter is the sister-in-law to Emily Dexter, the Port Angeles Food Bank director, and so is abstaining from participating.

“I never expected to stand in for her if she ever needed to get a pie in the face,” Carr quipped.

“I really support the food bank and value Safeway’s commitment to providing food to people in need.

“I think it’s a really fun way to have the community involved and have a friendly rivalry between Port Angeles and Sequim.”

Said Armacost: “We know we are in the middle of this darn pandemic and it is hitting more people in our society who have never experienced the need for help before. Our involvement with food banks is an overwhelming need.

“When we can give a hand up to people who are experiencing challenges they have never had before, it’s our honor that we are in a position that we can do so.”

Carr said that “Mayor Armacost and I both really care about our community. It’s nice to come together to help organizations that help the most vulnerable in our community.”

LaGrange said that the Port Angeles downtown Safeway raised $51,000 last year. This year, with two more weeks to go in the campaign, the store has raised $65,000.

“There’s an amazing need for food” this year, he said, “and also an amazing spirit of generosity.”

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