EastWest Food Rescue

On April 29, 2020, Bothell, Washington, resident George Ahearn alerted his community, with a Facebook post that began "Wasted Food...!,"  that farmers in Eastern Washington were plowing under or giving away their crops because they had lost their markets, due to COVID-19.  His plan:  Rent a trailer and "bring a ton (literally) of spuds and onions to food banks in our region." Could anyone help?

 Hundreds of community members quickly answered the call and on May 1, a small volunteer convoy of three trucks followed Bellevue Honda's Ridgeline at 5:30 a.m., drove to Othello (Adams County), picked up 12,280 pounds of potatoes donated by TerraGold Farms and 6,450 pounds of onions (purchased at https://onionbusiness.com/tag/target-ag/ ) and drove right back to Western WA.  

That rescued produce was accepted for delivery by Farmer Frog farms  in Woodinville, repackaged for distribution by about a dozen volunteers gathered by Woodinville Rotary Club, and then shared with multiple local food banks and hundreds of individual families. 

                    Thus was EastWest Food Rescue, an entirely grassroots effort, born.  

Loading onions into  Keith Wells' rig, at Target Ag in Othello.

Volunteer Julie Campbell and Nancy Balin, President and Operations Manager, unloading onions at VOA/Everett Food Bank.

George Ahearn, Treasurer, Acquisitions and Farmer Relations, original Idea Man, and Othello native.

TerraGold Farms loading up a volunteer's truck from their massive storage facility

5:00 a.m. convoy meet-up at Bellevue Honda at our very first convoy on May 1, 2020.

Unloading onions at VOA Everett Food Bank 

We still are ramping up, but we are growing exponentially every week -- and we know what our mission is:   Take food and supplies to people in hardship in farming communities in Eastern Washington, bring back much-needed food for hungry people in Western Washington, and support farmers all over Washington.  

We need your help! 

Trucks (and trailers, ideally) for our convoys.  Got one yourself?  Know a shipping company?  Contact us here: I want to help the convoy . So many thanks to Bellevue Honda , Mayor Elaine Cook and the City of Woodinville , Eric Branthwaite at  PCC Redmond , Betty at Dels Truck Rentals, Lee Johnson Family Auto Group , Total Rental Center Everett , and the list is growing every day!

Volunteers to repack loose potatoes into bags, at Farmer Frog in Woodinville.  [Masks and social distancing are required.  We will supply masks if you don't have any.]  Contact us here:  I want to help bag

Othello has food needs!  We are looking for bulk pinto beans, canned meat or fish, formula, diapers and any other non-perishable, packaged food.  Email us at [email redacted] if you can help!

Financial donations, to purchase supplies to bring to our friends in Eastern Washington; to purchase food from farmers; to provide support to the farmers who are donating their crops to us or selling them for less than their costs and hence at a loss; and otherwise to support our mission.  You're in the right place now to do that!

Are you a food bank that needs food?  Please reach out directly to Farmer Frog.

Are you in hardship and needing food for yourself or your family?  Please start by reaching out to your local food bank.  If your food bank needs food, please direct them to Food Bank signup 

JOIN US!  And thank you for helping us to help our Washington neighbors, both East and West.

With Warmest Gratitude,

EastWest Food Rescue

Nancy Balin, President, Operations Manager
George Ahearn, Treasurer, Acquisitions and Farmer Relations Manager
Zsofia Pazstor, Secretary, Distribution Manager, Farmer Frog Farms 
Erika Botello, Volunteer Coordinator
Nancy Clifton, Web Designer
Marion Clifton, Web Designer

WE HAVE RECEIVED OUR 501(c)(3) ruling from the IRS!!  Our EIN is 85-1100467.  As a result, your donations may be tax-deductible.  Please consult your tax advisor.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Nancy Balin
Organizer
Woodinville, WA
Nancy Balin
Beneficiary

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