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Guest editorial: Midday Rotary delivers $4,000 worth of goods to Food Backpacks 4 Kids

Posted on May 1st, 2023 By: Jill Dabbs

Gig Harbor Midday Rotary initiated a project to provide extra food for Food Backpacks 4 Kids, a local food bank that provides essential food items for families with food insecurity on the Key Peninsula. The project’s objective was to mitigate food insecurity in the region, particularly during the months of March and April, which are considered the worst months for organizations relying on food donations.

Lonna Calas, the Community Service Chair, coordinated with Zaida Woodworth, the Executive Director at Food Backpacks 4 Kids, to purchase and deliver essential food items.

Steve Rainbolt and Jill Dobbs of the Midday Rotary pick up food for Food Backpacks 4 Kids at the Bremerton WinCo..

Zaida identified the Bremerton WinCo as the best location based on her local store pricing research. For those not familiar with the area, WinCo and FB4K are 21 miles apart. The manager at WinCo, Kyle, was extremely helpful and scheduled food orders and pick up dates and times a few days in advance. Then Midday Rotary volunteers would pay for the order, pack them into their vehicles, and deliver them to Food Backpacks 4 Kids, where their volunteers would help unload and shelf.

Over the course of two months, the club made a total of four purchases, pick-ups, and deliveries to the rural food bank, which provided much-needed support to 200 families in the region. The club purchased and delivered over $4,000 worth of staple food supplies. Midday had a $2,000 budget for the purchases, and a matching grant from Rotary District International District 5020, the club’s original budget was then doubled.

The Midday volunteers enjoyed the hands-on work and learning more about the food bank. Some now volunteer regularly there as well and the project was a success, providing essential food items to families in need during the toughest months for food donations.

Even after Rotary involvement ended, Food Backpacks 4 Kids will continue to provide extra food to families with food insecurity on the Key Peninsula. The Rotary Club of Gig Harbor Midday has a long relationship with Food Backpacks 4 Kids and provides ongoing support in many forms.

To learn more about FoodBackpacks4Kids and their amazing journey, please visit:

Jill Dabbs

President, Rotary Club of Gig Harbor Midday