A message from Chief Executive Officer Shelley Rotondo
Spring is a time for rebirth and a renewal. I love watching the flowers bloom and the trees blossom. The lilac returns to Spokane, eagles soar in the San Juan Islands, and Washington cherries are right around the corner in Yakima orchards.
It’s a time to reevaluate and review, and as the leader of a state-wide organization, it’s also an opportunity for me to review the strategic priorities we are employing at Northwest Harvest to grow our impact.
I’m proud of the work our agency is doing to help those affected by hunger. This newsletter is specifically designed to communicate the ways we (and you) are focused on working to end hunger. Inside this issue, you’ll find stories on some of our newest efforts to meet our goals:
- Statewide Engagement: Engage the community in order to broaden and deepen statewide presence to better serve the entire state of Washington.
- Greater Capacity: Work collaboratively to enhance the capacity and infrastructure of the hunger response system in Washington state.
- Grower Relationships: Expand partnerships with food producers to increase the flow of nutritious food.
These efforts have real meaning in a climate where the need for help is still high. Congress passed a Farm Bill in February that cut food-stamp benefits by one percent. That might not sound like much, but the cuts will have a real impact on our friends and neighbors. In Washington state, 232,000 households will lose $90 per month, on average, in food assistance just months after cuts in November had already reduced benefits.
That’s why we’re focused on providing 1.9 million meals a month to people in need. I know our work is impossible without your help as a volunteer, donor or friend, so I want to thank you for your time, your energy and your gifts.
As spring returns, the days will get longer. With your help, we’re growing a harvest of hope, and working to make hunger’s reign shorter.
I hope you’ll take a moment to reflect on the beauty around us and enjoy all that is wonderful in our great state.