New Wetmore Pop Up Pantry
VOAWW's Hunger Prevention Services program has opened a new Pop Up Food Pantry in partnership with First Baptist Church and Community Center to bring food closer to our neighbors in need. Our new Pop Up model allows us to utilize the space, tables, chairs, and volunteers from our partner church or community center to create a "pop up" food bank. The VOAWW team and volunteers can bring healthy food closer to those who need our services.
Every month over 7,000 people will visit a food bank in Snohomish County. Of the people VOAWW serves, 33% are children and 18% are seniors. VOAWW staff saw the need of the community was more than providing healthy food. It was to provide access to healthy food to people who may not be able, have the money or have the transportation to get all the way to the Everett Food Bank. The idea of a partnership with a local community center or church to have a Pop Up Food Pantry or 'Pop Up' was born.
VOAWW partnered with two local churches to open the first Pop Ups. South Everett Pop Up at Bible Baptist and Mill Creek Pop Up at Advent Lutheran both opened over a year ago. The volunteers at the Pop Ups are positive and love getting to know each other and the people who come to shop. Now these Pop Up Pantries serve an average of 70-90 families per week. When asked families are thrilled that they can walk to the food bank, shop twice a month instead of just once and have a shorter wait time for food. With the success of our other two Pop Ups, it was easy to see that VOAWW needed to grow our Pop Up model here in North Everett.
In December 2016, VOAWW partnered with First Baptist Church to open the first Pop Up in the North Everett area. The Wetmore Ave Pop Up opened for the first time on Monday February 6th during a snow storm. Even with the snow and ice, volunteers and staff set up food and extra snacks for all the families who wanted to shop. Over 35 families came for the first Wetmore Ave Pop Up and we see that number growing every week. One elderly woman expressed her joy at having a food bank right across the street from her home. She lives in a senior housing apartment and can't drive anymore. She was so excited to get fresh vegetables and chicken. She thanked each of us several times as she left with bags of food. Our volunteers and staff knew right then that our new Wetmore Ave Pop Up is going to be a success.
The Wetmore Ave Pop Up Pantry is open every Monday 10- 1pm at the First Baptist Church Community Center located at 3120 Wetmore Ave Everett, WA. Do you want to help at our new pop up or one of our other pop ups? Sign up to volunteer at: https://www.voaww.org/volunteer