Len Bryant with the Sequim Valley Lions and Lynie Staus work together to load a car with food for the Holiday Meal Food Bag program on Nov. 19 in Carrie Blake Community Park. Staus said he wanted to volunteer because “there isn’t anything better than putting back in your community.” Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Len Bryant with the Sequim Valley Lions and Lynie Staus work together to load a car with food for the Holiday Meal Food Bag program on Nov. 19 in Carrie Blake Community Park. Staus said he wanted to volunteer because “there isn’t anything better than putting back in your community.” Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

Volunteers help brighten Thanksgiving for Sequim families

Dozens of helping hands helped send holiday meals home to Sequim residents who need it most this Thanksgiving holiday.

The annual Family Holiday Meal Bag program brought church members, Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT), Lions, Rotarians, veterans and many more together to bag and distribute holiday fixings on Nov. 19 in Carrie Blake Community Park for more than three hours.

Andra Smith, executive director of the Sequim Food Bank, who organized the event with support from CERT and the City of Sequim, said they distributed about 715 boxes of food with 650 given out at the park and 65 in home deliveries.

That’s down from last November’s total of about 1,040 boxes, she said.

“Providing food to one family is a success, so 715 is great!” Smith said.

The November event was the first of two, with the Christmas-time meal distribution set for 11 a.m.-2 p.m. Friday, Dec. 17 in the park.

Smith said that CERT and returning volunteers have the process down smoothly.

“It’s such a community supported event with so many groups helping,” Smith said.

“The Food Bank is so grateful for the support and collaboration. Over two years, the partnerships have grown so much, and they are so helpful in feeding our community.

“People take pride in helping, too.”

Sequim resident Lynie Staus said he wanted to volunteer to support the community.

“There isn’t anything better than putting back in your community,” he said.

The holiday meal distribution is the food bank’s longest running program, Smith said, thanks to groups such as local foundations and banks, and countless community donors.

For the event, Smith said they budgeted $55,000, which was $20,000 more than in 2020 because of rising food costs and anticipated need.

During the food bank’s regular distribution days, she said visitations and deliveries have slowly begun to rise.

Sequim Food Bank, 144 Alder St., opens 1-4 p.m. on Mondays, and 9 a.m.-noon on Fridays and Saturdays. For deliveries in the Sequim area, call or leave a message by 9 a.m. Monday to 360-683-1205.

Rod Barton and Sharon O’Reilly with Sequim Community Church were two of dozens of volunteers from churches and other service organizations preparing and sending out meals for Thanksgiving on Nov. 19 in Carrie Blake Community Park. Sequim Gazette photos by Matthew Nash

Rod Barton and Sharon O’Reilly with Sequim Community Church were two of dozens of volunteers from churches and other service organizations preparing and sending out meals for Thanksgiving on Nov. 19 in Carrie Blake Community Park. Sequim Gazette photos by Matthew Nash

For the Family Holiday Meal Bag program on Nov. 19, about 715 boxes went to local families for Thanksgiving, including 650 at Carrie Blake Community Park and 65 from home deliveries. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

For the Family Holiday Meal Bag program on Nov. 19, about 715 boxes went to local families for Thanksgiving, including 650 at Carrie Blake Community Park and 65 from home deliveries. Sequim Gazette photo by Matthew Nash

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