Hundreds of community members received food from local farmers as part of a food giveaway held on Jan. 3 in Marysville.
International Nutritional Sustainable Partners, a Redmond nonprofit organization that works across the state, came to Marysville’s Kendall Ford location to provide food to the community.
They had about 150,000 pounds of food to provide throughout the day.
“We’re out here to make sure that the city of Marysville, Everett and surrounding areas have sustainable food to ride out this pandemic,” said Brandy Badger, president of the organization. “So many people have lost jobs and are going without food."
The organization provides federal USDA farm-to-family boxes that were paid for as part of the federal coronavirus relief bill passed last March.
“The federal government gives money to the USDA to purchase food from our local farmers,” said Badger.
Boxes contained bread, potatoes, vegetables, milk, cheese, ground chicken and other items from local farms.
“Nothing is expired. These are brand new,” said Badger.
Badger said the federal relief funds have been reduced throughout the pandemic so they were not able to provide as many farm-to-family boxes.
“We were only allowed to get six pallets today,” she said.
Because of that the organization partnered with Amazon to bring in additional food.
Not all of the food provided was sustainable farm food.
“Some of it is sustainable, and some of it is fun, because we all have to have fun once in a while,” said Badger. “That still just lets you know you’re loved."
Badger said she was out in Marysville to support her neighboring communities.
“I don’t get a paycheck, none of our volunteers get a paycheck, so we’re all just out because we love our community,” she said.
Volunteers who helped out during the event also said they enjoyed providing food to families and individuals.
“Because feeding our neighbors is really important and showing our neighbors we love them is important,” said volunteer Jane Wen.
“I like helping the community and the smiles on people’s faces, and the little bit of relief they get,” said volunteer Sarah Dacruz.
The event was arranged in part with Kendall Cares, a nonprofit related to the Kendall Auto Group.
“Not just during COVID, but in every day normal life, there are people who are struggling to make ends meet, and we want to help give back,” said Alishia Jonas, community relations manager with the Kendall Auto Group.
Jonas said they wanted to host the event to help build better communities.
“When we come together we can do wonderful things,” said Jonas, who added they are planning to do similar events in the future.
Badger said International Nutritional Sustainable Partners also coordinates to get food to a number of community food banks for distribution.
She said the federal funds have been lowered throughout the pandemic and hopes that the state or federal government will bring forward a new bill for additional support for getting sustainable food out into the community.
“During the summer there wasn’t enough because we were still running out, and each phase after that we have gotten less and less,” she said.
Badger wanted to thank everyone who helped during the event, including Kendall Ford of Marysville, EastWest Food Rescue, Amazon and Farmer Frog.