A Second Home To Many Including Me


Sami McCallister, Journalist

The Maple Valley Food Bank has been a second home in my life for the past two years as I have seen it change so many lives including my own.

The Maple Valley Food Bank has been around since Maple Valley was founded in 1997.  The purpose of the Food Bank here in Maple Valley is to serve and provide nourishing food while providing life-saving services to people in need, knowing that – without the stresses of hunger – they are able to focus on the next phase of their journey out of poverty. The food bank consists of the board members then the Executive Director, Lindsey Habinect, Allie Ross, the Community Health Coordinator, Kaily Davies who is the Executive Assistant then the Warehouse Manager, Kalee Larson. These four women have changed my life in ways that I can not explain. Every time I walk in this warm and happy environment they light the room with their smiles. Normally I will walk in and Allie will be at her desk and will shout,

“Hey Sam!! We missed you!”

Then Kaily and Lindsey will ask me how my days are going, then I will tell them all of the exciting moments I have experienced that day. Then, with a smile on my face, I get to work with the rest of the amazing team. All of the volunteers I have worked with are always so down to earth and welcoming. It’s like a family we have formed. A group of people serving their time as a way to give back to the community we call home. It’s a blessing to have the opportunity to surround myself with all of these lovely faces. Allie Ross, the community health coordinator explained how “2,371 individuals received emergency financial assistance for eviction prevention, utility disconnects, bus passes and other emergency needs.”

There are approximately 29,076 people that live in the community of Maple Valley so to think 2,371 of them are in need of this extra support and help is pretty crazy. And to think every single one of those people can get the help that they need and deserve by the wonderful people serving at the Maple Valley Food Bank is heartwarming to hear. These people in need are not bad people, they try their best and are well deserving. No one should have to live in poverty and wonder if they will eat dinner. We as a community need to help the ones in need. As the Maple Valley community come together to serve, “It takes about 300 volunteer hours to keep our food bank running smoothly for one week. We are deeply grateful to the men and women who faithfully meet that need week in and week out!”

All volunteers and donations are greatly appreciated throughout these times in crisis. The Maple Valley Food Bank has impacted my life in many ways. It has made me realize how privileged I am and how I should always use that to my advantage to help others who aren’t given as much as I am. It made me open my eyes and look around. I believe that the food bank made me a better person and I thank every one of the dedicated people who work there. Start volunteering today and email [email protected]