How to help your local food bank

Since this time last year, demand for our free grocery services on the island has increased 24%.

Local food assistance programs, like ours at the Vashon Food Bank, are receiving less and less food from regional distribution centers as demand increases nationwide.

Meanwhile, grants and government funds that were robust during the pandemic are also stretching thin. Food banks across the country are feeling the pressure to increase food purchasing and are creating new and sustainable revenue streams to meet the increasing demand — the Vashon Food Bank is no exception.

Since this time last year, demand for our free grocery services on the island has increased approximately 24%. Currently, we provide free groceries and household essentials to around 300 households every week. We expect this number will continue to rise. In response, our 2024 food purchasing budget has increased by 30%.

Each and every week, at the operation’s ground level, the goal is simple: the food comes in, and the food goes out. This process is completed with great consistency thanks to scores of dedicated volunteers and donors.

Everyone is invited to give what they can and get what they need — a weekly testament to the resiliency and generosity of this island community.

Here are some ways you can get involved:

You can donate your time and energy as a volunteer. Call Leslie in the office at 206- 463-6332, or go to to sign up for the following roles:

  • Drivers (making home deliveries, procurement trips and grocery rescue trips)
  • Warehouse/Inventory Assistance (maintaining facilities, unloading trucks, portioning items and preparing reusable bags)
  • Shopping Area Assistance (welcoming customers, packing home deliveries and restocking inventory)

You can donate money. Go online to and click on the “Donate” tab, or purchase a Thriftway Care Card.

You can donate grocery bags for reuse. We accept clean, dry, structurally sound bags with handles.

And you can donate food and household essentials. Tuesday is the best day to donate, as we sort new inventory for the week’s distribution.

Are you a gardener growing food for yourself and your family? Please contribute a portion of your fresh produce to the food bank. The warehouse is open to receive donations of fresh produce and perishable food items Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. through 4 p.m.

Non-perishable food can be placed in the blue donation shed in our parking lot 24 hours per day, seven days per week. We’re always in need of the following non-perishable items:

  • Peanut butter
  • Canned goods, soup, broth, fish (tuna, salmon, sardines, etc.)
  • Dry pasta, beans, flour, sugar, cooking oil
  • Condiments, spices, and seasonings
  • Gluten-free snacks
  • Coffee and teas, non-dairy milks
  • Toilet paper, paper towels, kitchen garbage bags
  • Dental hygiene supplies, personal care items, diapers

We’re open for free grocery shopping on Wednesdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.

For home delivery requests call 206-463-6332, or email

Want to get in touch? Call the above number or email

Duncan Goulding is the operations manager at the Vashon Food Bank.