On May 1, 1991, their food bank opened as a volunteer-led neighborhood pantry serving 50 families a week. Founded as Northwest Community Services, the organization experienced a rapid rise in demand as the nation’s economy began to decline in 2008. In response to this huge increase in the number of families in need of food in their neighborhood, the board changed the organization’s name to Rainier Valley Food Bank, and hired its first professional executive director in 2009.
Their mission is to nourish with good food, empower with knowledge, and serve with compassion. Their vision is a hunger-free Rainier Valley.
Individuals needing food assistance may choose from three different programs:
- On-site Food Distribution Days, for people wishing to shop and select their own foods.
- Home Delivery, for people with severe disability who are unable to get to the food bank.
- To-Go Food Bag, for people without access to a kitchen and in need of pre-prepared foods.
The food bank fulfills nearly 5,000 requests for food each month. Demand for RVFB’s services grew 105% percent over the past five years and the need continues to rise. In 2015, RVFB served more individuals than any of Seattle’s 25 food banks. 2016 saw a 21% increase alone as compared to 2015.
They have built a successful weekly home delivery service for over 200 people unable to leave their homes, created partnerships throughout Seattle, Washington state and nationally, and cultivated a volunteer base of over 3,000 people donating around 1,500 hours every month.
The food bank has a strong and committed Board of Directors who meet regularly, as well as dedicated volunteer committees who create community events and fundraising initiatives to keep the Food Bank thriving.
Where is Rainier Valley Food Bank (RVFB)