Updated: Aug 10
In this issue of BythePound, we introduce Burr Mosby, highlight distribution partner, Praisealujah, advocate for agriculture, celebrate Women's History Month and more. Remember, we always want to hear from you. Please feel free to share your stories at email@example.com.
Thank you for reading our updates and being a part of the EWFR community!
What's New in Q1
In the first quarter of 2023, we moved 633,794 pounds of fresh food to communities in need - providing an average of 42,251 meals per week. Challenges with weather, transportation and inflation couldn't stop us from reaching neighbors who rely on us. Special thanks to you, our supporters, for making this vital work possible and to all the distribution partners who work so hard to share nutrient-dense and culturally relevant foods with the community, rain or shine.
Meet Burr Mosby, EWFR's Newest Advisory Council Member
To better serve farmers and food-insecure populations, we seek out and prioritize the voices of those communities to inform our work. We are pleased to announce that longtime EWFR agricultural partner, Burr Mosby, has joined the leadership team in February and is willing to share his insight and experience to help elevate our impact. It is with great enthusiasm and gratitude that we welcome Burr to the team.
Burr Mosby is a first-generation farmer and has been farming since 1977. Mosby Farms grows vegetables in the valleys of Auburn, Sumner and Orting, Washington. They supply produce houses, grocery chains and restaurants in the Pacific Northwest. Burr and his family are involved in their state and local agriculture advocacy and community groups that support agriculture. Burr is a current member of the Board of Supervisors for King Conservation District, and has served on the King County Agriculture Commission and Sumner City Council. Mosby Farms believes in giving back to the community and does so by donating produce to local food banks and soup kitchens from Seattle to Orting. Being a good steward of the land is of utmost priority for the future of agriculture, and Burr hopes to continue to share his knowledge offering a farmer's perspective.
We Are Expanding Our Leadership
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: Like a Phoenix, Praisealujah Rises From the Ashes
After experiencing a fire that damaged two refrigerated storage containers at theend of 2022, Pastor Kelly, Schwanda and the team at Praisealujah had to adjust services to meet the needs of a hungry community. We are pleased to report that with a little help from friends, including EastWest Food Rescue, Praisealujuah has purchased a replacement trailer and has restored storage potential to pre-incident levels.
Challenges are ongoing for the SeaTac-based organization. When asked about the effect of the Hunger Cliff (reduction of federal supplemental food benefits that went into effect at the end of February), Pastor Kelly shared that the influx has grown substantially across all his distribution sites. Most staggering is the central Praisealujah Storehouse, where weekly food distribution events typically serve 1,600 households, now face approximately 2,400 per week.
In the first quarter of 2023, with the support of EWFR donors and partners, including the WSDA, EastWest Food Rescue supplied Praisealujah with more than 300,000 pounds of fresh food, primarily produce, but more is needed. As a result of the increase in need, Pastor Kelly has recently expanded his warehouse to accommodate a greater volume of food the community requires.
Outside of hunger relief, Praisealujah is a faith-based organization focused on helping individuals and families through recovery. Their food distribution work is as low-barrier as it gets. Anyone who needs food receives food, no questions asked and all are welcome.
If you are interested in learning more about all the good work Pastor Kelly, Schwanda and the team at Praisealujah doing, you can check out thePraisealujah website at: https://praisealujah.org or visit them on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/praisealujahdistribution/
EWFR Joins the Farm Bureau to Advocate for HB1131 Wrap Act
In February, EWFR joined the Washington Farm Bureau, a voluntary, grassroots advocacy organization representing the social and economic interests of farm and ranch families at the local, state, and national levels. This month, EWFR was able to stand with the farm community and advocate for an amendment to HB 1131 Wrap Act, seeking an exemption for fresh produce. An unamended bill would pose a threat to farmers and many communities, especially the food insecure, because of the unintended consequence of shelf life reduction for produce.
We all have a role to play in improving our food system, and the Farm Bureau is a great place to reconnect with the land that nourishes you and the people who care for it. If you are interested in joining the Farm Bureau regionally or statewide, you can do so at: https://wsfb.com
Contribute to Healthier Outcomes for Struggling Women
As Women's History Month comes to a close, we reflect on the disproportionate levels of nutrient disparity facing women throughout the state and the country. In the United States, 30.3% of single mothers reported facing food insecurity, and 14.7% of women living alone also reported being food insecure (Food Action & Resource Center (FRAC), 2023). Many socio-economic factors, such as income inequality, domestic violence, child-care costs, education, immigration status, and inflation, contribute to nutrition-related disparities. The negative impacts on health are expansive due to the mental and physical stress food insecurity places on thebody.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the "Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) serves an average of 41.5 million people per month". Many of the households dependent on SNAP benefits are single mothers. Unfortunately, SNAP benefits were significantly reduced at the end of February, further expanding the gap to equitable food sources for many.
"I'm a disabled single parent, and we were barely staying afloat financially/food-wise prior to this [Reduction of federal supplemental food benefits]. I'm extremely frugal and share food with my neighbors, and we are all really hurting."
SNAP Benefit Recipient
Contributions from people like you ensure that neighbors like Anna have access to the fresh, nutrient-rich foods they deserve. Help us continue our work toward an equitable food system by nourishing the women, children and most vulnerable members of our community.
EWFR in the Community
In January, we enjoyed sharing our story with Environmental & Adventure Middle School (EAS) in Kirkland, WA. It was such a rewarding experience to connect with so many young learners, listen to their thoughts and field their questions.
We are so grateful to the team of staff and administrators, specifically Catherine Hendrickson, Tanya Scharpenberg and Mr. Healy, for asking us to keynote this event and kick off their Healthy Choices Fair 2023. EWFR's very own John Kunin did an excellent job telling our story and facilitating the conversation.
WSDA Recipes for Washington-Grown Crops
Have you ever come back from the market with some produce that was so beautiful you had to buy it but had no clue how to cook it? The internet has an abundance of food blogs and reels available at the swipe of a finger, including one recipe index from our We Feed Washington Partner, the WSDA.
The Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA), assembled a list of free recipes for "Washington-grown crops." This regional focus works nicely with the fresh, seasonal produce EastWest food rescue procures and distributes to support local and regional agriculture.
Check out the WSDA-recommended recipes on Instagram @wsdagov or the web at: https://agr.wa.gov/washington-agriculture/recipes
Remember to follow us on Instagram @eastwestfoodrescue and tag us in your culinary masterpieces!