Byrd Barr Place’s Food Bank: At the Heart of the Community

Byrd Barr Place’s Food Bank touches so many lives…have you been helped, or someone you care about? The facts are staggering: More than 387,000 families in Washington State are unsure of the source of their next meal. This means 1 in 7 Washington families can’t be certain that they will not go hungry today. The stories are incredible too. Our Food Bank has been there for many people in the community…sometimes in a small way, and sometimes in a big way that altered their lives forever. One story that always hits home for us is the story of Kurt Blodgett. Kurt is a carpenter from the East Coast, and he moved to Vancouver, Washington in 2008 to live closer to his daughters and their families. Two days after he arrived, his stomach ruptured unexpectedly. He spent the next four months in the hospital. When he became addicted to the medication that relieved his pain, he lost his home, and was close to losing his family and everything else he loved. Kurt knew he had to turn his life around. Byrd Barr Place, at the heart of the community where he lived, was there for him.

After a year in a treatment center for his addiction, Kurt was referred to us. Byrd Barr Place was just the hope that Kurt needed in a time of crisis. Within days, our staff at Byrd Barr Place helped Kurt move into transitional housing. Slowly, Kurt began to piece his shattered life back together. “I was amazed at the caring and concern of Byrd Barr Place’s staff,” Kurt said, ” I knew one day I wanted to give back to the people that lifted such a great weight off my shoulders.”

For many months, Kurt worked part-time in our Food Bank while he lived at a nearby mission shelter. The Food Bank became a source of renewal and a place of community for him, and he made many friends with the staff . “They were like a support group to me. It’s such a positive place to work each day,” Kurt said, “I see people come into the Food Bank and leave with a whole new attitude, a sense of hope.”

This week we are focusing on a particular group of clients in our Food Bank: our seniors. We are running a Groupon campaign to raise support to provide them with special fresh produce bags.  Won’t you help us keep our Food Bank that is at the heart of our community to help seniors who are living on a very limited, fixed income? Learn more about how you can support the campaign.

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