Even with volunteers like Carol Abrahamson (above) who help sort food, the Salvation Army Renton Rotary Food bank is facing a shortage of volunteers and food donations this holiday season.

Salvation Army food bank again facing shortage as holidays approach

Fewer bell-ringing volunteers and empty shelves as holidays near cause concern

This year has been a difficult one for the Salvation Army Renton Rotary food bank, as they’ve seen a drastic decline in holiday-time volunteers and bare cupboards, even as need increases.

The food bank usually has bell ringers during this season who stand outside 28 grocery stores across Renton, Mercer Island and Issaquah, collecting donations and greeting customers. Last year, volunteer bell ringers collected $22,000 from donations, but this year’s numbers might see a dip since the number of people signed up have significantly decreased. With one more week to go for the bell ringers volunteers, the food bank is desperate.

“We have until the 24th, so if people come forth and take one three-hour shift, that would be a huge help, said Martha Barrett, community programs manager. “We’re really hurting.”

That’s not their only need this season. On. Dec. 20, the food bank will help feed needy families in the community by handing out turkey, ham and side dishes, as well as host their annual toy distribution. However, the turkey freezer is looking bare as they’ve only collected 22 turkeys as of Monday, and nearly 900 families have signed up requesting a holiday meal.

“This is the one that people most look forward to because it provides gifts to the children,” said Barrett. “Right now, things are tough. Every little bit helps.”

Last month, Barrett said that the Renton community has always showed up whenever needed, and the community proved her words correct during Thanksgiving. The food bank needed to provide nearly 600 families with turkeys, but had only met half their goal a week before Thanksgiving.

On Monday, Barrett reported that their Thanksgiving cry for help was heard and their need was met, though she hoped citizens could open their hearts one more time.

For inquiries regarding volunteering or donating, email Martha Barrett at martha.berret@usw.salvationarmy.org or call 425-255-5969.

The Salvation Army Renton Rotary Food Bank is open 9 a.m. – noon, 1 – 3 p.m., Monday through Friday, and is located at 206 S. Tobin St.

More in News

Two Renton officers involved in shooting

Suspect allegedly had a shotgun and a knife

Despite concerns, homelessness authority moves toward final Seattle vote

Seattle’s homelessness committee aligned the city’s plan with King County’s.

King County’s current climate action plan was adopted in 2015 and has provided a blueprint for reducing emissions and preparing for climate change. File photo
King County approves environmental justice provision

An update to the King County climate action plan should include an… Continue reading

Homelessness authority approved by King County, awaits Seattle vote

The agreement would consolidate emergency services for people experiencing homelessness.

The King County Courthouse is located at 516 Third Ave. in downtown Seattle. Photo courtesy of King County
Council approves $600,000 to increase security at King County Courthouse

The funding will be split evenly between increasing deputies, security and social services.

Luck be Renton’s lady

Chamber of commerce ends the year in style

Photo courtesy of city of Renton. New Councilmember Valerie O’Halloran and her husband, Michael.
O’Halloran takes her seat

Councilmember sworn in before the new year

Photo courtesy Brennan Bunn. King County Councilmember Dave Upthegrove speaking at the Transit Town Hall, Dec. 4, at Renton Senior Activity Center.
Sound Transit, Metro talk commuting in Renton

Residents get a chance to ask about bathrooms, routes and parking

Photo by Haley Ausbun. Evergreen City Ballet dancers rehearsing at the Meydenbauer Center Theatre in Bellevue, Dec. 4.
From Evergreen’s Cavalier to Broadway and back home again

Artistic Director Bennyroyce Royon introduces himself with “The Nutcracker”

Most Read