Local food bank receives over $55,000 from Walla Walla Valley wineries, businesses

Local food bank receives over $55,000 from Walla Walla Valley wineries, businesses

More than 70 Walla Walla Valley wineries, area businesses and nonprofit organizations teamed up to raise a record amount of money for the Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC) Food Bank.

The 9th annual Barrel Full of Money fundraiser broke its own record again this holiday season. Barrel Full of Money is a joint effort by BMAC, the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance, and local sponsor organizations and businesses to raise funds in support of local food pantries.

Alaska Airlines, Baker Boyer Bank, Big House Brewpub, Columbia REA, Dunham Cellars, Elkhorn Media Group, Grocery Outlet, Hayden Homes, Maple Counter Café, the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, Rogue Lobster, Seguin Moreau, The Thief Fine Wine & Beer, TMACS, Valdemar Estates, the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin and Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance member wineries came together this year to donate time, money and resources to the cause.

During a check presentation at the Food Bank on Thursday, the steering committee presented a check to BMAC for $55,716.82.

“Generous support from the wine community, local businesses and individuals has propelled the Barrel Full of Money campaign to a 40 percent growth over last year,” said BMAC Food Bank director Jeff Mathias. “The money raised in this effort will provide over 250,000 meals for our neighbors in need.”

The BMAC Food Bank distributes over 928,000 pounds of food through pantries in Walla Walla County every year. Since its inception in 2011, the Barrel Full of Money campaign has raised more than $220,000 in cash for the local food bank, all of which has been used to purchase bulk food items and perishables.

“This effort truly exemplifies the collaborative heart of the people throughout our community. We look forward to the continued collaboration and success of Barrel Full of Money and BMAC for years to come,” said Shelby Pryor, committee chair for Barrel Full of Money and marketing assistant for the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance.

Next year, Barrel Full of Money will celebrate its 10th annual campaign. The fundraising effort will kick-off once again in October 2020 and conclude with the Auction & Wine Reception on Thursday, December 10 at Dunham Cellars.