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Rainier Valley Food Bank 

Description

Serving one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the US, the Rainier Valley Food Bank (RVFB) provides healthy, well-balanced groceries to anyone in need of food. With over 1,500 hours of community volunteer hours each month, RVFB is a model for neighbors feeding neighbors.

Mission Statement
Our mission is to provide healthy food for our hungry neighbors. Our vision is a hunger-free Rainier Valley.
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Rainier Valley Food Bank
4205 Rainier Ave S 
Seattle 
WA
98118 
(206) 723-4105 

Sam Osborne 
Executive Director 

Programs

Rainier Valley Food Bank Programs

Rainier Valley Food Bank is open for distribution on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9:30 AM to 2:00 PM both days. Groceries are delivered directly to over 160 severely disabled, stay-at-home seniors in southeast Seattle every week. We also offer "To-Go Bags" 5 days a week, which contain ready-to-eat-foods for persons without access to a kitchen. Great care is taken in each program to provide the highest possible quality of food and nutrition, quantities appropriate to household size and ethnically appropriate foods. Special dietary needs such as vegetarian, low-sugar and low-sodium are addressed as required.

Recent Successes and Current Challenges

In 2015, Rainier Valley Food Bank (RVFB) was highlighted by the Seattle Times as an organization applying innovative practices to meet the growing need for emergency food services in Seattle. In 2014 wait times were reduced by half, while service levels grew by 32%. RVFB is now serving four times the number of guests per month than in 2009 at the height of the recession, all the while continuing to provide healthy and quality food. A vast and tireless network of volunteers contributed over 16,000 hours of community service to help meet this growing demand in 2014. RVFB serves 25% all families in Seattle with infants and toddlers in need of food assistance by distributing baby food, formula and over 120,000 diapers annually.

Evaluation


Rainier Valley Food Bank (RVFB) provides food assistance to low-income residents in southeast Seattle, one of the City’s most diverse populated areas, with a focus on seniors, families, individuals with disabilities and the homeless.

Proven Success
In 2011, RVFB became the fourth busiest food bank out of 27 in the City of Seattle. They serve nearly 11,000 people every month providing nutritious culturally-appropriate food to low-income, homeless and home-bound residents of southeast Seattle. They provide $12 worth of food for every dollar donated. They have increased their budget for food purchases over the last three years to meet food demands. No one is turned away who meets the food bank’s broad criteria for assistance.

Collaboration
The Food Bank partners with a long list of organizations to provide food to the community. Primary partners are Northwest Harvest and Food Lifeline which bring food deliveries each week. Neighborhood grocery stores provide food pickups and food drives. They also partner with the Emergency Feeding Program to provide no-cook bags to their homeless clients. A small urban farm that produces organic vegetables and fruits, called the Seattle Community Farm at Rainier Vista, opened this year and it donates one third of its produce to the RVFB.

Sustainability
RVFB received a 20% increase in funding from the City of Seattle’s Human Services Department in 2013, the first increase since 2009. Individual donors are a major component of their fundraising plan, and they have grown their list of donors from 200 to 2,000 since the current ED started in 2009. The board has hired a consultant to support their strategic planning work, and reports that everyone is highly engaged and working towards a common goal.

Grant History with The Seattle Foundation:

Grants Awarded through The Seattle Foundation Grantmaking Program:

DateAmountPurpose
12/15/2013 $15,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2012 $10,000.00support general operating expenses.
3/10/2011 $5,000.00support general operating expenses.
6/10/2010 $15,000.00support general operating expenses.

Financials

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