In this issue of By the Pound, we highlight distribution partner Restoration Community Impact, honor the history of Yakama Nation Farms, introduce our latest member of the EWFR team and more. We are thrilled to share stories from our EWFR community and welcome yours in future editions of By the Pound. Please share your stories at firstname.lastname@example.org. Until then, we wish you a healthy and happy new year season.
What's New in Q4
Since our last report, we moved 1,190,869 pounds of fresh food to communities in need - an average of 68,050 meals per week. The lean, mean EWFR team is pulling out all the stops to ensure that our distribution partners receive the food they need to support communities experiencing hardship. EWFR Farm Relations Manager and buyer extraordinaire, Diane Dempster, has sourced more than 55 varieties of fresh seasonal and culturally-relevant produce, bringing more diversity to our fall/winter offerings.
The 2021 Annual Report is Here
2022 has been a busy and productive year. With changes in leadership and the completion of our 2021 990 filings, we are pleased to share our 2021 Annual Report, available for download. If you would like a printed version or more information on our work, please send your request to email@example.com.
New Look, Same Great Work
With all the growth that has been happening at EWFR, it was time to give the website a much-needed update. Visit the new website to stay updated on EWFR news, volunteer opportunities, events and more.
Our Team Has Grown: Introducing Mimi Hardie
Mimi Hardie joined the EWFR leadership team as the Development & Compliance Manager. She has a background in complex data management as well as non-profit development. Mimi is passionate about digital marketing and looks forward to contributing to EWFR development efforts in the new year. Mimi has been an invaluable help to EWFR's internal processes in the short time she has been with the team. We are grateful for her skills, experience and great attention to detail. In her free time, Mimi enjoys baking and outdoor activities with her husband, young daughter and rescue dog.
EWFR Board News
The EWFR Board of Directors will begin strategic planning early in 2023. We are fortunate to have our very own Board Treasurer, Caleb Fitzgerald, facilitating the process. Outside of EWFR, Caleb works with entrepreneurs and small businesses through his boutique consulting firm, Black Gallina. Caleb's team helps businesses thrive by providing accounting, operations and strategic support. We are appreciative of Caleb's willingness to help guide us to our next stage of growth and look forward to sharing the finalized strategic plan with the greater EWFR community by the end of the first quarter of 2023.
We Are Expanding Our Board
Do you or someone you know have a passion for supporting local agriculture or ending hunger? Do you have unique skills or lived experience? You may have all of the above. The EWFR Board of Directors is looking for community leaders interested in joining the board or advisory council to help advance our mission. If this is of interest to you, contact Monika Whitfield for more information on how you can get involved.
We look forward to hearing from you.
Partner Spotlight: Restoration Community Impact Sharing Abundance With Rural Communities in Eastern Washington
One of our most impactful programs is the distribution of food through Last Mile Distribution Partners (LMDPs). LMDPs are often local champions of change with deep-rooted knowledge of the needs, challenges and cultures of the communities they serve. This quarter we are highlighting the work at Restoration Community Impact (RCI), located in eastern Washington.
RCI shares a similar origin story as EWFR, born of the pandemic and called to serve because of the tremendous need and the realization that existing food systems were inadequate. In their first year, the faith-based team at RCI, led by Pastor Marlando & Stephanie Sparks, quickly found their work taking off by moving 900,000 pounds of food throughout eastern Washington’s Tri-Cities. Now RCI’s impact can be felt in 9 counties, as far north as Okanogan County at the U.S.-Canadian border. With the support of organizations such as EastWest Food Rescue, the WSDA and other players in the hunger-relief space, RCI has been able to expand its operation. Their work has transformed from once-a-week events to opening Restoration Market, a “high-end” free grocery store, where access to quality, cost-free foods are provided in a way that prioritizes the shopper’s dignity while eliminating feelings of stigma and shame. Stephanie shared her philosophy behind Restoration Market’s shopper experience, “Shopping with us breaks that poverty mindset in a growing child. A family can shop with dignity; children can eat and grow with dignity and take comfort in knowing I am like anyone else.” The Restoration Market will open its doors to the general public on January 21, 2023.
The team at RCI celebrates the virtue of love which is clearly present and purely felt at any of their food distribution events. When asked why they do what they do, Pastor Marlando replied, “we want our organization to help people rediscover their voices, reclaim their future and restore their families.” And that is precisely what they do through the power of faith, food and community.
If you would like to learn more about Restoration Community Impact, you can visit their website or follow them on Facebook.
Legacies in Agriculture:
Honoring The Inaba Family & Yakama Nation Farms
From being stewards of the land and community to cultivators of nature’s nourishing gifts, there is something profoundly beautiful in the inherent qualities of farmers. Last year, Natalie Swaby of King 5 News highlighted this truth in a story about Yakama Nation Farms and how generational farmer Lon Inaba honors the longstanding relationship between his family, the land they tended to and the Yakama Nation.
EastWest Food Rescue does regular business with Yakama Nation Farms, and so far in 2022, they provided EWFR with more than 285,482 pounds of fresh food ranging from root vegetables such as squash and onions to cultural staples found in peppers, tomatoes, jalapeños and so much more.
Help Us Keep Our Neighbors Nourished
and Healthy During the Cold Winter Months
Winter is a challenging time to be food insecure. Please keep our neighbors experiencing hunger close to your heart as you consider making your year-end gift to ease their suffering. Too many children and vulnerable people require our support. Join us in prioritizing the needs of those who have fallen on hard times and provide them with the nourishment they need to thrive.
Remember, your investment in EWFR goes far. We are able to leverage our relationships with farmers to provide food at or below cost, yielding an average of 4 meals per dollar provided. Please consider making your tax-deductible charitable contribution today.
Special Thanks to Our Sponsors
We want to share a big THANKS to those who have helped us reach our November fundraising goal. Because of your generosity, we secured $36,417 through our match campaign, sponsored by First Tech Federal Credit Union.
Thanks to those who shopped at the Haggen Olympia store during Haggen’s Heroes Against Hunger campaign this fall. Because of your generosity and the support of Haggen Olympia employees, we secured an extra $4,750 to help us work toward a hunger-free Pacific Northwest.
Shop to Support Hunger Relief
Every time you shop at AmazonSmile and select EastWest Food Rescue as your charitable organization of choice, Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase to EWFR. Make sure you place your order at smile.amazon.com to ensure your purchase is credited to EWFR.
Winter Produce Recipe: Butternut Squash Pasta
Featuring Sara Welch From Dinner at the Zoo
It's that time of year when hearty winter squash varieties are plentiful. We have been providing our distribution partners with an abundance of acorn squash, sugar pumpkins, butternut squash, you name it. These nutrient-dense delights are bursting with vitamin A, vitamin C, fiber and so much more - they are also excellent for providing that warm, comforting nourishment that is so desired during the colder months. These squash are typical in soups and roasted appetizers. However, they can also hold their own as a main dish.
Here is an example of how food blogger, Sara Welch, from Dinner at the Zoo satisfies her hungry family and followers with Butternut Squash Pasta. Not in the mood for pasta or bacon? Sara also provides a Roasted Butternut Squash and Brown Sugar recipe sure to delight.