Sequim Safeway checker Colleen Tenneson and manager Joe Barton helped raised more than $87,000 from customer donations for the Sequim Food Bank fundraiser over November and December. Andra Smith, food bank executive director, on right, said donations will go towards gift cards, which she loves because “it allows families to choose and make their own nutritional decisions.” Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Sequim Safeway checker Colleen Tenneson and manager Joe Barton helped raised more than $87,000 from customer donations for the Sequim Food Bank fundraiser over November and December. Andra Smith, food bank executive director, on right, said donations will go towards gift cards, which she loves because “it allows families to choose and make their own nutritional decisions.” Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Safeway customers, staff come up big for Food Bank

In just two months, Safeway customers brought in more than $87,000 for Sequim families.

From Nov. 1-Dec. 31, customers could donate at check stands toward the Northwest Harvest Hunger campaign.

Because of pandemic/health restrictions, donations went toward gift cards for necessities such as food and toiletries, rather than food bags, that helped limit staff and volunteers handling items.

“I love it,” said Andra Smith, Sequim Food Bank executive director. “This allows families to choose and make their own nutritional decisions.”

In total, the Sequim store brought in $87,517 with $13,848 collected by checker Colleen Tenneson, a 37-year veteran at the store.

Store manager Joe Barton said she raised the most in the Sequim store at 680F W. Washington St., and was fifth among about 3,000 checkers in the district, which features Washington, Alaska and a portion of Idaho.

Sequim’s store raised the third-most of the district’s stores.

“(The fundraiser) is so important now,” Tenneson said. “There are so many people who are out of work and I know how much of a struggle it is for people.”

Smith said the annual event has been going on at least 20 years, and staff are working on how to distribute the donations as $50 gift cards in the near future.

For more information about the Sequim Food Bank, visit sequimfoodbank.org or call 360-683-1205.

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