OurMarch 14 meeting was very productive.
LorrieTatum, Betty Takahashi, Jan Starr and Farrida Hakim reported to the group thatthe “back pack” pilot program will be kicking off this Friday. Initially, it will serve 30 children in 2 schools. With the pilot, the group hopes todetermine the most efficient logistics, as well as how to distribute the responsibility and build in sustainability, in order to increase scale withtime. They are really excited about the opportunity to add more organizations willing to contribute to the success of the effort.
Tammy and I were able to learn more about summer feeding programs last Thursday at the United Way’s Hunger Action Forum at the Seattle Center. We will share more about this at our April meeting. In the interim,those who are interested in learning more about this important subject, please visit http://www.childrensalliance.org/our-current-work/end-childhood-hunger.
Food donations through food drives are important means ofobtaining food for any variety of feeding efforts in our community. However, inorder to better accommodate ethnic preferences, dietary restrictions and tojust acquire food items not obtained in drives coin drives are anecessary means of raising monetary resources to acquire needed items.However, we learned that in the BSD, coin drives are not taking place in theelementary schools due to restrictions around the handling of money. In middle schools and high schools, the coin drives can take place through theschools’ ASB organizations. Jennifer Karls has volunteered to approach the elementaryschool PTSAs throughout the district in attempt to lead thesecoin drives working through the PTSAs. .
Joseph Adriano (Parks & Community Services Department) informedthe group that the City of Bellevue is looking to hand off coordination of theEastside Human Services Forum to the community in 2012. The Forum is a jointeffort between four Eastside cities(Bellevue, Issaquah, Kirkland and Redmond),Hopelink, World Impact, Emergency Feeding. One of the key activities of theForum is to lead the “Eastside Month of Concern for the Hungry” (http://eastsideforum.org/fooddrive/), amonth long food drive which requires lot energy around coordinating volunteer efforts to collect, transport and store food that contributes about 80% oflocal food banks annual intake of food donations. Thanks to Brian Anderson (Emergency Feeding Services), Rich Bowen (World Impact, Renewal Food Bank) andDebra Grant(Hopelink) for educating the group on the ins and outs of makingthis important event work. It was clear to us that our Network is uniquelypositioned and capable undertaking this important work.
Karen Sherwood discussed the potential of a software programthat she has developed and her desire to make it available to our Network.
We now have a dedicated Facebook page for the BellevueNourishing Network. You have probably already received the link. PLEASE visit the page and “LIKE” it. This will become a very important component of future communications for us.
Speaking of communications, the Bellevue Nourishing Network madewas scooped by Leslee Jacquette of KOMO NewsBellevue: http://bellevue.komonews.com/news/community-spirit/728617-anthropologist-explains-evolution-bellevue-nourishing-network#.T2C-dPymTS8.email . Thanks to Leslee for offering to make sure the Network’s activities are madepublic and to fellow Networker Janet Farness for setting this up! Leslee is nowputting together a piece on the back pack program.
Our next meeting is scheduled for April 18, 2012, from 4-6pm in room1-E-112 at Bellevue City Hall. As always, please feel free to invite anyone whocan benefit or contribute to the important conversation we are having.