Food

Stuff the Bus

A drive-thru food drive

Attend

What: Stuff the Bus Food Drive

Where: Cascade Mall, 201 Cascade Mall Dr., Burlington

More:

WHEN: 12pm-2pm Sat., Feb. 27

Info: http://www.helpinghandsfoodbank.org

Wednesday, February 17, 2021

If Spider-Man is the one accepting your donations during the “Stuff the Bus” Food Drive taking place Sat., Feb. 27 in the parking lot at Burlington’s Cascade Mall, don’t be alarmed. He’s just there to help. Same goes for Cinderella, who will also be on site to assist in collecting nonperishable food items and monetary gifts from the general populace.

While it may be thrilling to spy a costumed crusader or the glass-slipper-wearing heroine of a classic fairy tale from your car window as you drive through with your offerings, keep in mind that the real superheroes of the day will be the Helping Hands Food Bank. They’re the ones partnering with Skagit Transit to help feed Skagit County families in need—something they’ve been doing for more than 35 years.

During the pandemic, the longtime nonprofit based in Sedro-Woolley has been feeding an average of 6,000 families per week and is seeking support to continue its effort. As Skagit County’s largest direct emergency food provider, their mission is to nourish their community with kindness and respect, and without judgement.

In addition to the food bank itself, the self-described “solution center” also runs programs such as C.H.O.W. (Cutting Hunger on Weekends), Grocery Rescue (which allows Helping Hands to obtain food six days a week from grocery stores throughout Skagit County and redistribute it), and Mobile Food (which delivers boxes of food to homebound people throughout Sedro-Woolley).

They’re also magicians, turning each dollar donated into approximately 25 pounds of food. This means a $50 donation to Helping Hands equates to 1,250 pounds, a $100 donation translates into 2,500 pounds, and giving $500 means a whopping 12,500 pounds worth of food will be dispersed. For the Stuff the Bus Food Drive, the goal is to raise $10,000—along with filling a Skagit Transit bus with nonperishable food.

“We rely on your support,” organizers say. “Our funding comes from individuals, businesses, local organizations and state and federal agencies. The current economic climate has created an urgent situation of reduced funding, a sharp drop in donations and a significant rise in the number of families who are turning to us for assistance. Without your generous support, we could not reliably provide food for our community.”

Along with visits by the aforementioned special guests from Enchanting Events, the Feb. 27 benefit will also have an element of competition. The organization, business or service group that brings in the most pounds in donations—each dollar given will be counted as 25 pounds of food—will be crowned Community Champion and win a quarter-page ad in the Skagit Valley Herald, bragging rights and a catered lunch from Rockfish Grill.

Even if your team doesn’t take home the title, your drive-through donations will help feed the need. In other words, you’ll still be a winner.

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