Food bank temporarily closes soup kitchen

The Ballard Food Bank has decided to temporarily close its soup kitchen at Calvary Lutheran Church at 23rd Ave. and 70th St. “Some people who attend the lunch program have not maintained a standard of behavior that is appropriate or respectful,” explained the food bank’s executive director and board president in a letter distributed to the neighborhood. “Over the next several weeks, our board will closely examine options to address the concerns that have been raised about the Meals Program, including discussing whether clients of this program can be served through other avenues or partnerships.” The kitchen has operated every Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, and it has served an increasing number of people in need over the last few months.

Last week, quite a few neighbors complained about the soup kitchen at a community meeting that discussed a plan to bring a nighttime SHARE shelter to Calvary Lutheran. The shelter’s move to Calvary has since been delayed. The food bank said it appreciated the feedback it received at the meeting, and now asks for your comments and ideas. “We welcome your feedback about how the program has personally impacted you and any ideas you have about how we can continue to respond to people in need while also being a respectful neighbor,” the letter reads. The full letter is below…

Dear Neighbors:

For many years, the Ballard Food Bank has been serving the community with the help of neighbors like you. The meal program we offer three times a week at the former Calvary Lutheran Church is well attended and provides a healthy lunch to those who need it. Unfortunately, some people who attend the lunch program have not maintained a standard of behavior that is appropriate or respectful. This has caused concern for many of you who desire to be compassionate neighbors but also want to feel safe in your neighborhood. We appreciated the opportunity to hear directly from many of you about these concerns at last week’s meeting about the SHARE men’s shelter at the Calvary Building.

Effective March 5, the Board of Directors of the Ballard Food Bank has decided to temporarily shutdown the Meal Program we sponsor at the former Calvary Lutheran site on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Over the next several weeks, our board will closely examine options to address the concerns that have been raised about the Meals Program, including discussing whether clients of this program can be served through other avenues or partnerships. We welcome your feedback about how the program has personally impacted you and any ideas you have about how we can continue to respond to people in need while also being a respectful neighbor. Please direct your comments or feedback to our Executive Director, Nancy McKinney via email at ed@ballardfoodbank.org and via phone 206-789-7800.

One again, we thank you for your support over the years and look forward to our partnership is serving as a resource for the most vulnerable.

Thank you,

Nancy McKinney
Executive Director

Monica Myers Greenberg
Board President

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it is good that this people have focus on their responsibilities…