Moving on, but not leaving | Guest View

By Alison Cook | Sep 21, 2017

After serving as the executive director of the Carol Rowe Memorial Food Bank at Edmonds Methodist Church for 17 months, I have accepted another position within the hunger relief efforts.

I will continue my work in this arena as the senior director of hunger prevention for Volunteers of America Western Washington.

Although my departure from the Edmonds Food Bank is premature, the new role offers me the opportunity to address hunger throughout Snohomish County. Working to increase action in the movement to address hunger, I will be collaborating with all food banks within the Snohomish County Food Bank Coalition.

In this capacity, I still have a vested interest in the continued success and increased outreach of the Edmonds Food Bank.

The hands-on learning I gained from my experience with the Edmonds Food Bank was invaluable. During my time with the organization, I worked to increase the number of new volunteers on the team. The current team is strong and stable – many new community members have joined to work and support the operation.

I also worked with the team to sustain the availability of nutritious food options each week for our clients.

In addition to the fresh donations from our wonderful community stores and neighborhood gardens, we began a vendor relationship with Charlie’s Produce, which has worked to deliver to us when we don’t have enough fresh produce donated.

The subject of nutritious food is a priority for food relief programs – moving from sugar-laden to healthy, fresh offerings is a key initiative in the industry. From an operational perspective, I worked to firm up the parameters and policies that guide the rules of the food bank operation. Areas of the program that weren’t clear now have written policies to help answer any questions.

Looking forward, I hope to continue to work with the Edmonds Food Bank on increased outreach methods. Just before my departure, we had embarked upon a strategic planning effort, of which I hope to participate in – at least in part – in my new role.

The variables that contribute to hunger are always changing, and our challenge going forward is to evolve with those changing variables to get food to people who cannot access it in their current situations.

I look forward to my work across the larger Snohomish community as part of the Volunteers of America Western Washington and in partnership with all of the agencies working to end the hunger that plagues so many of our neighbors.


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