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Food Lifeline rescues and distributes surplus food

Food Lifeline rescues nearly 60 million pounds of surplus food and provides 50 million meals every year. Photo credit: Food Lifeline

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Every year, about 40 percent of the food produced in this country never makes it to a dinner table. Meanwhile, there are millions of Americans who go hungry.

Closer to home, one in seven people in Washington state don't always have enough to eat. One in five of them are children.

"Hunger doesn't have to happen," said Mark Coleman, the senior marketing and media relations officer for Food Lifeline. "We rescue nearly 60 million pounds of surplus food every year and create nutritious meals for those in need."

Food Lifeline exclusively serves Western Washington by providing 50 million meals every year. The organization is also a part of Feeding America, a network of more than 200 independent food banks across the nation, and is the nation's fourth largest nonprofit organization and the national leader in hunger relief.

The surplus food that Food Lifeline gathers comes from farmers, manufacturers, grocery stores, restaurants and retailers which would otherwise dispose of it. Over the course of a year, between 16,000 and 17,000 volunteers work at the organization's Hunger Solution Center to sort and repack the surplus.

The items are then distributed to more than 300 food banks, shelters and meal programs throughout Western Washington, providing the equivalent of 116,000 meals every day.

"Every year, more than a half million people visit local food banks. Nearly 90 percent of these people have homes; 75 percent have jobs. They are simply struggling to make ends meet," continued Coleman.

While addressing the local area's need, Food Lifeline is looking to the future through a strategic plan focused on building community partnerships, advocating for public policy through advocacy, and working to double the number of meals provided to those in need.

"We're here to help, and we do so because help is something that every one of us has needed at some time in our lives," he explained. "As to the Joint Base Lewis-McChord (JBLM) community, we supply every food bank within the zip codes of JBLM."

Help also comes in the form of a donation during the Combined Federal Campaign, or CFC. Food Lifeline's donation number is 25916.

Coleman added that every donated dollar creates the equivalent of four meals.

"We make a big difference. Please help us end hunger."

For more information about Food Lifeline, visit:

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