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Food bank now open on Tuesdays
The Vashon Maury Community Food Bank has added a food distribution day to its schedule and is now open to the community on Tuesdays and Wednesdays each week.
This change has been in the works for some time, according to Yvonne Pitrof, the food bank’s executive director. For years the food bank had been open only on Wednesdays, but that one day did not work for everyone, and staff and volunteers wanted to increase its accessibility.
“We often asked, ‘Are we really reaching everybody who needs us?’” she said.
It was clear many people would benefit from hours on an additional day, she said, and now with some new record-keeping procedures in place, they have the wherewithal to do so.
“We’re pretty excited,” she said.
Not only will this day make going to the food bank possible for those with Wednesday commitments, she said, but after just one day, staff and volunteers could see that being open on Tuesday will help keep each day’s numbers to a more manageable level.
Ever since the recession began, the food bank has seen an increased number of people seeking assistance, Pitrof said. The food bank is particularly busy at the end of the month, she said, when lines of people are sometimes waiting the whole time the small outlet is open.
In 2011, Pitrof noted, 15 percent of Vashon’s population relied on the food bank at least once. By year’s end, the food bank had served 653 households and 1,463 people.
“It was really surprising to me when I saw those figures,” she said. “I do not think anyone thought it was that high.”
On average, she said, food bank clients use its services two and a half times a month, and Vashon is on par with the national averages for some support services. Of the people whom the food bank served last year, 27 percent were children, 14 percent were seniors and 9 percent declared themselves as homeless.
Distribution hours are now 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesdays and 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesdays with 4:30 to 5 p.m. open for seniors and disabled people.