The fight against hunger continues with the Sequim Food Bank opening its doors for a third session.
Regularly open from 9 a.m.-noon Mondays and Fridays, the food bank now also is open from 6-8:30 p.m. Mondays.
"We might possibly be the first food bank opening at night in Washington," said Stephen Rosales, Sequim Food Bank board president.
Rosales, an active volunteer at the Sequim Boys & Girls Club, said people he had spoken to found the original hours inconvenient.
"A lot of young parents work during the day, so this is their way to come," he said.
"If we help at least two people with this third opening, then it's worth it."
After months of planning, the food bank board voted unanimously to open on Monday nights.
"I love it," said Nina Fatherson, execu-
tive director of the food bank, about the
"I hope it gets more people in here."
The June 15 opening saw more than 50 people, with about 14 new attendees, come for donations and/or free hot dogs and fruit.
Many people attending said they heard about the night opening at the Boys & Girls Club.
Board members and volunteers are considering other changes in the future.
"We're looking at tentatively moving the third session to Saturday when the weather becomes bad and it's colder," Rosales said.
Attendees of the food bank are allowed to receive food assistance twice a month.
Both Fatherson and Rosales said they have helped people in emergency need and will do so again.
"The community is so good to this food bank, and we know they want us to do more," he said.
If in need of additional aid, Fatherson and other volunteers at the food bank can be reached at 683-1205, and Rosales at 461-6038.
The Sequim Food Bank is located at 144 W. Alder St.
The same night the food bank board of trustees voted in favor of a third session, they also signed a resolution for new policies on donations and protocols.
"There are six new members on the board and we're cleaning up some administrative details," Rosales said.
"We're a $100,000-a-year business that's updating to the 21st century."
An in-house letter from the board to the director details steps they feel will
improve the quality of food distributed, said board member Alwynn Lewis.
It stated that:
_ All repackaged food must be discarded because not all volunteers have food handler's cards.
_ All out-of-date food must be discarded unless there is written communication from the manufacturer with an approved length of time that the product may be distributed.
_ A list of names and contact information must be recorded of individuals receiving assistance for more than six months.
_ Donors always are to receive receipts for tax purposes.
_ Scheduled tours and training sessions will take place for volunteers and board members.
Lewis said these guidelines did not come up because anyone became sick.
"We just want to make sure we are handing out good food," she said.
Board member Walt Schubert said the food bank's bylaws hadn't been updated since 1988. A new bylaws committee was created to look over the guidelines annually and make recommendations as needed, he said.
Rosales said they are striving to give more to each visitor. He listed switching from half-gallon to 1-gallon milk jugs and bigger bags of produce as examples.
"Our goal is that no one goes to bed hungry," Rosales said.
Matthew Nash can be reached at email@example.com.
The Sequim Gazette is located at 147 W. Washington Street in Sequim.
Business hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Phone 360-683-3311, or toll free at 800-829-5810. FAX 360-683-6670.
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