20th annual Octoberfest food drive benefits four local food banks
WEST RICHLAND, Wash. — Four local foodbanks were presented with generous donations from McCurley Integrity Dealerships and Yoke’s Fresh Market on Wednesday. More than 52,000 pounds of food will benefit local residents just in time for the holidays.
Throughout the month of October, McCurley has been contributing a portion of each vehicle sale towards the purchase of food for the Octoberfest Food Drive. A total of 548 vehicles were sold across all McCurley dealerships in October, contributing $58,695 to local food banks.
Yoke’s Fresh Market collected food donations from customers throughout the month, gathering more than 11,900 pounds of food. Combined with additional food donations from McCurley, nearly 53,000 pounds of food will be distributed between Tri-City Area Food Banks, the Salvation Army, Tri-City Union Gospel Mission, and St. Vincent De Paul.
One of the reasons these four non-profits were selected is their network with each other. If one organization has an excess of food for the week while another is lacking, they work with each other to distribute food equitably in a fluid operation.
Overall, Octoberfest has brought in over 1 million pounds of non-perishable food items to local food banks over the last 20 years.
“What a great food drive cause, especially this time of year, going into the holidays,” said Craig Cavanaugh, Director of Marketing for McCurley. “There’s hundreds, literally thousands of families in Southeastern Washington that rely on our food banks.
The Tri-Cities Food Bank (TCFB) was overwhelmed with support from the local community.
“It all comes together and then we’re able to meet the need from our community,” said VJ Meadows with TCFB. “We have an awesome community, and they do pull together, and it is needed more than ever.”
TCFB helps feed over 40,000 families throughout Benton County. The organization is primarily volunteer-driven and distributes 20 tons of food weekly. Recipients can get food as often as every other week, and income is not a factor in determining need.
“We thought COVID would come and go, but we’re still in the middle of it, and so the challenges are just as much, if not more real, today,” said Meadows.
The Tri-Cities Food Bank is looking for volunteers and donations. For more information, click here.
Another recipient at the event was Tri-Cities Union Gospel Mission (TCUGM).
“Going into the holidays, it’s an important time for our clients,” said Larry Cooney of TCUGM. “It becomes prudent for us to stock up the shelves well.”
TCUGM distributes over 300 meals a day to members of the community; including homeless individuals. They operate both a men’s and women’s center, providing 24-hour emergency shelter to those in need with rescue, recovery and restoration services.
“It really gives a sense of confidence of those who work at the mission, and our clients, to know that they’re part of the community,” Cooney said. “It really has a ripple-down effect, even to the clients that we serve.”
TCUGM is looking for volunteers and donations. For more information, click here.
The Salvation Army of Tri-Cities was excited to receive support from the Octoberfest food drive.
“We usually give food boxes out during COVID,” said Rebeca Sibaja of the Salvation Army. “Whatever we get here we get to include in those boxes and they can have several meals for one week, two weeks, depending on the family size.”
Located in Pasco, the Salvation Army offers a meal program, food pantry, clothing bank, and emergency financial assistance to local residents. Every Tuesday and Thursday, they distribute food boxes—each contains 60 to 80 pounds of food.
“It is a blessing of course to know that we can count with this kind of money to support our community,” Sibaja said.
The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers to help with bell ringing during the holiday season. Donations are also needed for children. For more information, click here.
“We don’t close our doors during the pandemic,” said Cristian Sibaja of the Salvation Army. “We keep the door open for those that are in need.”
St. Vincent De Paul helps local residents in a number of different capacities. In the Tri-Cities, they help distribute food and other necessities to local residents.
Currently, St. Vincent De Paul is looking for volunteers, food donations, and monetary donations. For more information, click here.
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