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Soaring prices for gasoline and food have resulted in unprecedented demand for free food at the downtown Thurston County Food Bank and its 11 satellite offices, the organization’s executive director said this week.

The number of individuals seeking help increased 27 percent to more than 17,000 in the first quarter of the year compared with the same period last year, food bank executive director Robert Coit said. The number of households seeking help rose 28 percent to more than 7,000, he said.

About 275 residents visit the food bank daily, Coit said.

Surging local and worldwide demand for food also has meant a shortage in certain food donations, he said.

The 35-year-old organization is limiting rice to one bag per household, and because more bakeries are watching expenses, the food bank has received fewer day-old bread donations, Coit said.

“I never thought we would not have day-old bread, and who would’ve thought that you couldn’t buy rice?” he said. “Those things are unprecedented.”

Most of the food at the bank has been donated or purchased with cash donations, he added,” quoting The Olympian on May 9th.

“The Thurston County Food Bank is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Services are also available on the fourth Wednesday evening of every month from 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m. There are also special hours for disabled clients and caregivers.

The Food Bank relies largely on community support. In-Kind donations of food and volunteers are at the core of the annual budget. Community food drives keep the shelves stocked and volunteers keep the doors open. Administrative costs are kept to a minimum , accounting for less than 5 percent of the annual budget.

The Thurston County Food Bank serves over 27,000 individuals annually,” quoting their website.

Thurston County Food Bank
220 Thurston Street NE
Olympia, Washington 98501-1138
(360) 352-8597 Office

Posted by Steve on May 15, 2008 at 6:22 am | Permalink

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