Food Drive Needed More Than Ever

SPOKANE – The big food drives always seem to happen around Christmas, and once the holidays pass, food donations often drop.

But KXLY4 is proud to, once again, be part of the annual Yoke’s Food Drive to benefit Second Harvest Food Bank.

And this year, the need is greater than ever.

“Pride gets in the way,” says Donna Simpson.

She never thought once she reached retirement, she’d have to ask for help.

“By this stage in our livee, we were supposed to have been set,” she says. “Be able to travel, do all sorts of things. We can’t do anything.”

Some months, that means buying food. In fact, Simpson says without the Second Harvest Food Bank, she and her husband wouldn’t get the nutrition they need to stay healthy. Their limited income can only afford their high-priced prescription medications.

“It’s really hard to accept things for free,” Simpson says, “but we really appreciate it because…fixed income, medications, it doesn’t stretch far enough.”

“We seem to be seeing quite a few folks,” says Jason Clark, Executive Director of Second Harvest Food Bank.

Clark says while the shelves at their warehouse are stocked, there’s far from enough food to feed everyone in need.

“Our trend right now…luckily our food banks aren’t turning people away,” he says, “but people are getting less food.”

Area food banks are seeing more clients, and they’re receiving less donations, from both people in the community and the federal government. In fact, Clark says donations from the government are down almost 80 percent.

“It’s all related to agiculture policy and how much food the federal government is buying for the price support program,” Clark says, “and they’re not buying as much today as they used to.”

Clark says that’s why this Friday’s food drive is more important now, than ever. He says with the need rising, the donations will have to as well to feed everyone in the region.

“If we didn’t eat, we wouldn’t get any better,” Sampson says.

For Sampson and her husband, who never hoped for help, they’re relieved to have it.

“It was really hard to swallow your pride and say, ‘I need help,'” she says, “but thank God it’s there.”

People can drop off food at any Yoke’s grocery store all day Friday.