June Nicholas, a Sequim Food Bank volunteer, gives a package of eggs to a visitor of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program at Sequim High School. For 12 weeks, residents can pick up free food from the USDA on Wednesdays. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

June Nicholas, a Sequim Food Bank volunteer, gives a package of eggs to a visitor of the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program at Sequim High School. For 12 weeks, residents can pick up free food from the USDA on Wednesdays. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Volunteers distribute weekly food boxes on Wednesdays

Effort continues through Aug. 19 at Middle School

Community volunteers look to help keep Sequim’s in-need households fed with food supplied by federal funds.

Each Wednesday through Aug. 19, residents can pick up COVID Food Care Packages from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.

After checking in and answering basic questions at the Sequim Middle School parking lot, 301 W. Hendrickson Road, such as the number of people in a household, residents can pick up boxes at Sequim High School, 601 N. Sequim Ave.

Participants can drive, walk or ride bikes, organizers said.

“It’s a chance to make people’s lives a little bit easier for the time this pandemic is going on,” Sequim Police Chief Sheri Crain said in the program’s promotional video.

Each week, about 500 boxes of food come from local and regional distributors funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Coronavirus Food Assistance Program and distributed by local agencies’ Community Point of Distribution.

Some of the items available include peanut butter, cereal, canned fruits and vegetables, fresh produce, various meats, milk, cheese and eggs.

“We hope to put it on the tables of the people who need it,” Andra Smith, Sequim Food Bank Executive Director, said in the video.

She said the new program serves in conjunction with other community programs like the Food Bank open Mondays, Fridays and Saturdays.

Sequim’s Food Care Package program opened on June 3 for 12 weeks with dozens of volunteers from the Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) through Clallam County Fire District 3, Sequim Volunteers in Police Service, and the Food Bank helping out.

“It’s a gratifying experience to see people being appreciative of what they’re receiving,” CERT volunteer John Anzalotti said.

“Sometimes it’s hard for (people) to come up with food in these times.”

Prompting for the new food distribution effort came at the request of Clallam County Emergency Operation Center’s staff asking the Sequim Emergency Coordination Center to lead the effort.

John Viada, a CERT division chief, said he and other CERT members from across the Sequim area helped hand out informational flyers on COVID-19 and personal protective equipment (PPE) at Greywolf Elementary, too.

Viada said he keeps volunteering even during the pandemic because it helps the community.

“I like to do community work and it’s going back to the community,” he said.

For more information on the COVID Food Care Package program, call Dan Orr, Clallam County Fire District 3 Assistant Chief, at 360- 683-4242.

Volunteers Bruce Leigh and Nancy Elwert with Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) place place food boxes in a trunk on June 10 at Sequim High School. Free food boxes are available through the USDA from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 19. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Volunteers Bruce Leigh and Nancy Elwert with Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) place place food boxes in a trunk on June 10 at Sequim High School. Free food boxes are available through the USDA from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays through Aug. 19. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

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