July 19th, 2010

SMCU Helps Food Lifeline Redistribute 4 Tons of Food

SMCU volunteers at Food Lifeline

SMCU employees and their families spent the morning of Saturday, July 10th, at the Food Lifeline distribution center in North Seattle helping re-pack food collected by letter carriers during the National Association of Letter Carriers Food Drive.

As part of SMCU’s involvement in Food Lifeline’s “Food Frenzy” Summer Funds Drive, SMCU volunteers arrived at 9:00am, ready to sort food donated by the generous residents of the Puget Sound. After a short orientation session, the group got to work sorting through enormous bins full of food. Some of the volunteers were tasked with determining which items were fit for distribution and which had to be discarded. Other volunteers re-packed the approved donations into empty banana boxes to be sent to area food banks.

By the time the shift ended at 12:00 noon, SMCU volunteers had repacked 8,100 pounds of food, which will be turned into more than 6,200 meals for hungry families in Western Washington. Everyone from SMCU who participated had a great time and felt honored to be able to assist this amazing organization.

In addition to volunteering time, SMCU is trying to raise $5,000 for Food Lifeline to help them to continue their important work and needs your help to reach that goal. If you would like to donate, you can stop by any SMCU branch or, if you are an SMCU member, you can donate through Online Banking via the “Online Forms” tab. Donations will be accepted through Friday, July 23.

Volunteer Orientation

Tips on donating food

Some of the things SMCU volunteers learned during their time at Food Lifeline can help you decide what food items to give the next time you participate in a food drive.

  • Canned goods should be free of rust and not show any visible signs of bloating.
  • Cans can be very dented but should not have any creases or areas where metal is folded over on metal.
  • Undamaged canned goods can still be used significantly past their expiration date, often several years.
  • Food in vacuum-sealed, glass jars must have the seal intact, i.e. the button on the lid should not pop back up when pressed.
  • Individual items must have a complete, legible list of ingredients or be in a package with the ingredients listed for the individual contents.
  • Food items may not be homemade nor require refrigeration.
  • Baby food and diet items should be donated at least two months prior to their expiration date.
  • Baby food should not be in glass jars.
  • Boxed items, like cereal, must have their inner liners intact and unopened.

SMCU’s partnership with Food Lifeline and participation in Food Frenzy is part of a commitment to giving back to the community. SMCU is always on the lookout for opportunities to help small groups who need assistance. If you know a group or organization that could use volunteers, send an email to voice@smcu.com.

See SMCU’s photo album on Facebook for additional pictures from the event.

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