Motivated by its rapid success in providing Thanksgiving food to families in need with children in a local elementary school, the Kirkland Nourishing Network is mounting a similar effort during the holiday school break in December.
Nourishing Network volunteers on Monday delivered about 1,500 pounds of food to John Muir Elementary in Kingsgate, donated and gathered in just five days in response to an appeal. The Kirkland Rotary Club filled about one-third of the request for food, said Kirkland City Councilman Dave Asher, active with the Nourishing Network since its creation last year.
“I was just so happy to see all of that support,” Asher said. “The Rotary Club just came out of the woodwork. All of a sudden the Rotary contribution came in and we were just wowed. Kirkland just steps up, this community just steps up with vigor when you identify a need and give it the opportunity to help.”
Nourishing Networks began as an initiative of the local service agency Hopelink, which operates a food bank and support center in Kirkland, to fill the gaps in the Eastside’s existing network of social support services through volunteers. There are now five Nourishing Network branches, in Kirkland, Redmond, Bellevue, Issaquah and the Northshore area.
The network coordinates with other local groups to make sure the support is not being duplicated, and the primary focus is fighting hunger. Kirkland Nourishing Network volunteers see a huge need during the long holiday break, when students in need will not have the benefit of school breakfast and lunch programs.
“We’ve got kids and families who are disconnected from support systems, and we’re trying to fill the gap,” Asher said. “The need is systemic. We’re working with Hopelink and other agencies, but we’re finding families that aren’t connected to support.”
The December campaign is still being organized, but anyone interested in helping can click here to learn about the Thanksgiving effort, and see the Nourishing Network Web site here and its Facebook page here.