Before heading back to Washington, D.C. for the Easter holiday, U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen visited the Lynnwood Food Bank Friday to help distribute meals to community members.
During his first trip to the food bank, Larsen — who represents Washington’s 2nd District that includes Lynnwood and Mountlake Terrace — toured the facility before helping volunteers load groceries into vehicles. The visit was part of a tour of local small businesses and non-profit organizations that received federal PPP funds (Payment Protection Program).
“I’m really glad to be out here to be supportive of the people at the Lynnwood Food Bank and the people that they serve,” Larson said.
Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, the Lynnwood Food Bank and its volunteers have been working tirelessly to provide food for thousands of residents in Snohomish County. Though the state is moving toward reopening and is now in Phase 3 of Gov. Jay Inslee’s reopening plan, Food Bank Director Alissa Jones said they are still seeing higher-than-normal turnouts during food distribution days. Typically, the food bank serves 40,000 people each year. Last year, the food bank served 70,000 families and since January, they have served 20,000.
Last year, the Lynnwood City Council voted to divert $50,000 of the city’s federal CARES Act funds toward the food bank to purchase a vehicle to deliver food and groceries to homebound residents. The Verdant Health Commission also paid for a portion of the vehicle. Jones said they are hoping to have the food truck out in the community by May.
The food bank began distributing meals for the Easter holiday on Wednesday, where more around 250 families served. In addition to usual groceries, families were able to choose between a turkey, ham or chicken, potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots. Families also revived two dozen eggs with recipes for deviled eggs and instructions for homemade food coloring to dye Easter eggs.
Also during his tour, Larson discuss the American Rescue Plan, President Joe Biden’s $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief bill signed last month.
Since Inslee announced last month that starting April 15 all Washingtonians over the age of 16 years will be eligible to get vaccinated, Larsen is also encouraging folks to take precautions and get the vaccine.
“Don’t hesitate, vaccinate,” he said. “The quantity of vaccines are increasing to the state.”
When not feeding community members, the Lynnwood Food Bank has been a site for folks to get tested for COVID-19. Though there are no current plans to offer vaccines at the site, Jones said they would be more than willing to partner with the Snohomish Health District as a vaccination site.
“We told them they’re willing and they have that in their knowledge,” she said.
—By Cody Sexton