During the summer months, demand goes up at the Thurston County Food Bank and similar food assistance agencies throughout the Pacific Northwest. When summer vacations begin, children lose access to their schools’ free and reduced lunch programs.
The Washington and Oregon state Departments of Agriculture and the Northwest Dairy Association are trying to fill that gap by sponsoring a competitive drive called Northwest Farmers Fighting Hunger during June, which is also National Dairy Month.
The drive pits the two states against each other to see whose citizens donate the most food through Fred Meyer store locations. Washington won last year with 7,751 pounds to Oregon’s 6,500 pounds. The food is distributed statewide to local food banks.
It might seem like a corny idea — the winning state keeps a trophy — but a statewide food drive benefiting children from low-income families is worth our attention, and our donations.