The Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank
During remote learning, some families wonder how they will get the food and resources they need to nourish their minds and bodies. I spoke with Cori Walters, Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank executive director, and Bonnie DeCaro-Monahan, the organization’s development director, to find out how families can get the resources they need during the pandemic and what the community can do to help.
According to Bonnie, the pandemic created an “exponential demand for food bank resources,” which is why the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank expects service numbers to double by next year.
Because of COVID-19 restrictions, the food bank has created a drive-up, no contact service, making it safe and efficient for families to get the food they need. Anyone can access the food bank’s resources without barriers, such as income verification, and no one is turned away.
“Those who need aid getting healthy food into their homes will receive the help they need,” Cori said.
While the food bank originally experienced an increase in donations at the beginning of the pandemic, 70% of food sources that came from grocery stores, private donors, and food drives prior to the pandemic dropped to just 10%. The easiest and quickest way to give to the food bank is through financial contributions, allowing the food bank to buy the exact products they need when they need them. The organization also has an emergency needs list and food donation instructions online.
The COVID-19 pandemic greatly reduced the number of volunteers with the food bank, as the initial 2,100 hours of volunteer hours in February decreased to 830 hours in June because of restrictions on the number of people permitted in the building safely.
While volunteering with the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank has changed during the pandemic, volunteers are still needed. If you would like to volunteer for the food bank, go to issaquahfoodbank.org to see all available times you can give your support.
Another way to get involved is through the Issaquah/Sammamish Food Project, an easy way for Issaquah Highlands residents to give back to the food bank. Simply fill a provided green reusable bag with non-perishable food items from a list to be picked up every two months by your neighborhood coordinator, who will deliver the items to the food bank. You can sign up to be a food donor or a neighborhood coordinator online at
The Issaquah Turkey Trot benefitting the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank also provides opportunities for Issaquah Highlands residents to give back and volunteer.
Remember, volunteers are just as important to the Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank as the food that is donated. Any help you can offer will have a huge impact.
For Issaquah Food and Clothing Bank volunteer information, visit issaquahfoodbank.org.