In 1972, The Puyallup Food Bank was incorporated with FISH (Friends in Service to Him), a worldwide organization of people united to help others in need. For over 30 years we have grown with donations of food and money, also the number of caring volunteers helping to meet the needs in our community.
Puyallup Food Bank is an independent registered non-profit charitable 501(c)3 organization. Any donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.
The food bank’s mission is to provide food to those in need with dignity, to utilize food surpluses, and to increase public awareness on issues of hunger in our community. As a distribution center, we save countless dollars for other food banks, nonprofits and charitable agencies by providing an efficient and centralized location for collecting and distributing food.
Our food bank is a volunteer-based organization. We rely upon churches, individuals, businesses and service clubs in the community for the resources needed to sustain this ministry.
What We Do
The Puyallup Food Bank offers food and personal hygiene products (when available) that have been donated from local businesses, food drives and individuals. Food is also received through other non-profit organizations such as Emergency Food Network and Northwest Harvest. In addition, we serve as an outlet for government commodities. Food such as meats, eggs and bulk staples are purchased with donated funds.
Every client/family receives enough food to feed each member in the household for at least three days or more, and may return after 30 days if the need persists.
We serve our clients on an appointment basis. They call the food bank monitoring number for Puyallup, which is 253-848-5240, between the hours of 9:15am To 2:30pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday.
The Amount We Serve
In the year of 2007 we processed over 450,000 pounds of donated food. This number was down from previous years only because we closed our doors in December at the East Main location to reopen in mid-January at a new location on West Stewart Street.
The Puyallup Food Bank and Distribution Center’s warehouse distributed out 61% of the donated food in 2007 to 26 other local food banks and feeding sites.
We also assisted 10,739 people at our previous location. Our food bank alone was able to help many less fortunate Puyallup residents with over 128,000 nutritional meals.
Our New Building
In December of 2007 we were forced to closed the doors at our previous location, and in January of 2008, we reopened on West Stewart. Then on July 18th, 2011 we moved to a permanent location at 110 23rd ST SE.
We would also like to thank our special donors to our new building fund.
The history of the foodbank as told by a long-time volunteer:
When I first heard about the Food Bank [in 1972] it was located on the alley side of the Senior Center on West Pioneer. The space was very small and the parking seemed to always be a problem. As the population of this area increased and the need for the Food Bank to provide food for a growing number of people it soon became apparent that this location was not adequate to fill the need.
A grant was made and the Food Bank moved into the new location, under the freeway overpass on East Main St. The needs of the community continued to grow. This caused the Food Bank to ask for more volunteers to pickup food at many locations. As the needs became greater we had to expand our area of food pickup.
The volunteers involved in the food pickup used their own transportation and furnished their own gas. Most of the local food pickup were done with a Pickup or Van but some of the food pickup had to be done with a Pickup and a trailer with side stakes. The food was loaded onto the trailer with a forklift where it was picked up but when we got to the Food Bank it had to be off loaded by hand. This included 100 pound sacks of potatoes, onions and flour. There also were cases of canned goods to unload.
This was very hard on the volunteers that were involved in this phase of the operation so it was determined that we needed a forklift. Money was donated to purchase a small forklift from a business in Puyallup and it was used until it became too small for our needs. We needed a forklift that would lift the pallets higher and could handle more weight. Money was donated to purchase a larger forklift that could handle the increased volume and weight.
Due to the fact that we were rapidly becoming a distribution center for the other Food Banks in the area and the continuing need for more food to meet the demand, the decision was made to purchase a truck with a 16ft. box and a lift tailgate. Money was donated to purchase the truck and now we are better able to handle the demand and also continue to help the other Food Banks in the area.
We were also given a small pickup truck to use for the smaller collections of food. The forklift and the trucks that we are using today are the product of our asking for help from many sources in the community.
We are volunteers that donate our time to help keep the less fortunate in our area from hunger. To keep the operation running smoothly we have two paid staff.