FOL Continues to Make a Difference Locally
FOL’s primary local project is our free grocery distribution, which alternates each month between the Seattle suburbs of Auburn and Federal Way. We serve an average of 100 families of 4, so in all, we serve about 400 people each month.
Clients sign up the week prior to the event, either on our website or by telephone. Once we know how many people will attend, we know how many groceries to buy. We buy the groceries at Costco, and we transport them to the distribution site in a rental truck.
In addition to dry goods and canned food, we offer fresh foods such as vegetables, fruit, milk, eggs, and chicken. These are items that, for the most part, are not available at traditional food banks and other help centers. We also apportion the food depending on the family size; the more people in the household, the more food we give to them.
We have made a positive impact in the communities of Auburn and Federal Way. At every event, we arrive at the site and clients are already lined up, sometimes two hours before the distribution is scheduled to start! Most of the faces are the same, but every month we have approximately ten new clients and ten “walkups”—people who did not register but would still like groceries. Most of our regular clients are kind and respectful, and they help us increase our outreach by telling their friends and families about our food distribution service.
We have had several people email or call us to tell us that they no longer need our help but are thankful for the work we have done. This gives us hope that we are helping people to get back on their feet, and that these people are inspired and motivated to improve their own lives instead of only relying on us and other food banks for help. Indeed, our passion is to serve people in real need, but our long-term mission is to help inspire our clients to become more and more independent so that they may live fulfilling lives.
FOL Chief Operating Officer