Burglars hit Rainier Valley Food Bank
Up to $2,000 in food was stolen from the Rainier Valley Food Bank early Wednesday, days before the food bank's Thanksgiving rush.
Seattle Times staff reporter
How to helpFood donations are accepted at the Rainier Valley Food Bank, 4205 Rainier Ave. S., Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Acceptable donations include healthful nonperishables such as canned soup, vegetables, fruits, tuna and chicken, and boxed dinners. Donate online at rvfb.org
About 450 people are expected Saturday at the Rainier Valley Food Bank to get food for Thanksgiving meals. But when staff arrived Wednesday at 6 a.m., they found the lock on the storage container had been cut and nearly everything inside had been stolen.
Burglars took several hundred pounds of potatoes and onions, as well as 30 crates of canned fruit, soup, chips, peanut butter and vegetables that volunteers collected last weekend. The loss totaled $1,500 to $2,000, said Sam Osborne, the food bank's executive director.
"I'm scrambling to replace all of it, because it was intended to be distributed on Saturday for our Thanksgiving distribution," Osborne said.
The food stolen was collected last weekend in two eight-hour food drives at local Safeway stores, conducted by Seattle University students Saturday and by neighborhood volunteers Sunday.
Not all the donations at the food bank were in the storage container; the rest was inside the main building. That included Thanksgiving portions for seniors and disabled people, 409 of whom arrived Wednesday.
"If they'd gotten in here, who knows how much they could have taken," Osborne said of the burglars.
This time last year, the food bank served about 5,000 people a month; this year, Osborne said, the number has risen to about 10,000.
With the current economic situation, he said, food banks have seen people who never used them before become weekly clients.
"The thing is, if someone needed food, they could've come in and asked for it, and we would've given it away for free," he said.
Molly Rosbach: 206-464-2311 or email@example.com
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