Amazon donates $750k to Ballard Food Bank

The Ballard Food Bank is getting closer to their fundraising goal to finish construction on their new building: Amazon has just donated $750,000 to the food bank.

Just two weeks ago, Ballard Food Bank announced a new round of fundraising to help ensure they can pay for the final construction costs and move into their new building before the lease on their current location expires. They’re hoping to raise $1.7 million for their Hope Beyond Hunger capital campaign, and the Amazon donation has just pushed them far closer to their goal.

Along with the financial donation, Amazon has also formed a strategic partnership with the food bank that includes Amazon employee volunteering support and an “exploration of innovative community programs and markets where families can shop and access healthy food with dignity.”

The new Ballard Food Bank at 1400 NW Leary Way will have the capacity to serve a much larger area that will include Licton Springs through Bitter Lake, up to 145th St. The 11,000-square-foot facility will have a larger grocery-store-style food bank and improved Community Resource Hub. The hub will be a place for organizations to offer housing assistance, medical care, veterans’ benefits, and other servces.

Along with monetary and volunteer support, Amazon is exploring further collaboration by leveraging the company’s logistics network to donate delivery services through Amazon’s Community Delivery program, along with piloting a food and supply purchasing project.

“This is an exciting investment in Ballard Food Bank’s ability to serve people in our community—now and for generations to come. Our partnership with Amazon will help build our amazing new home and bring critical resources to families at risk of hunger,” Jen Muzia, Executive Director of Ballard Food Bank said in a statement. “Amazon has answered the call at a critical time when so many of our neighbors are struggling with the impacts of COVID-19.”

Amazon has pledged $500,000 to help fund the construction costs, and $250,000 to support new programming for families and children in need.

“Amazon is committed to addressing basic needs to help ensure children and their families are supported with the resources that they need,” Bettina Stix, Amazon Director of Right Now Needs and Disaster Relief said in a statement. “With our partnership and donation to Ballard Food Bank, we are laying the groundwork together for long-lasting, innovative hunger relief programs that leverage Amazon’s scale for good and help drive forward the organization’s critical work to alleviate hunger and strengthen the Northwest Seattle community.”

The current location of the Ballard Food Bank is “bursting at the seams,” with double the amount of houshold visits and deliveries each month. Prior to the pandemic, there were about 3,200 visits and deliveries. Now, a normal monthly range is 6,400. The food bank has adapted with offering drive-thru services and more home deliveries, keeping social distancing a key priority throughout.

“With so many people coming to us for food, our old space just doesn’t work anymore. Our food bank is set up like a grocery store where people can browse and choose the food they need. When it’s safe to have people back inside, we will absolutely need a bigger space in a new home,” Jen Muzia said.

You can learn more about Ballard Food Bank’s future home by visiting here.

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