The importance of donating to food banks in our community - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The importance of donating to food banks in our community

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TRI-CITIES, WA - Our Hometown Harvest food drive is coming up this Friday, and your support is so important to helping out our communities.

Individual and community support is critical to the fight against hunger in our area...Reporter Crystal Garcia got a firsthand look at the difference it makes when she stopped by one of the local food banks receiving the help.

Executive Director of the Tri-Cities Food Bank, Bill Kitchen, gave her a tour of their facility in Kennewick, which is the central distribution center for their other food banks in the area like Benton City and Richland...all of which are in constant need of support.

"Hunger will always happen," said Kitchen. "People will always be disadvantaged, as much as we try to make it different."

They, like other food banks in Tri-Cities and Yakima, rely on many different resources like Northwest Harvest, Second Harvest, and even federal help...but their biggest resource is you.

"That amounts to about 70% of our funds...I think a lot of people are not aware of the situation. It's a heart-jerker, I mean, pulling at the heart strings," said Kitchen. "That's really why it's the many individual families that are running into problems, and they can be families that are living in nice homes, lose their jobs, and running out of money and have to reconsider how they live their lives and part of that is coming here."

Employed or unemployed, all kinds of people rely on the donations, even volunteers who work at the food banks.

"It means a lot for me and some of the other people that come here and don't have anywhere else to go," said Dave, who both benefits from and volunteers at the food bank.

Any help goes  a long way, whether it's money or food donations, especially during this time of year.

"Now is when we look forward to adding the most canned goods," Kitchen said.

"Please donate; it's very important to the community," said Dave. "It helps people from day to day, from kids to adults."

Last year alone they helped over 58,000 families here in the Tri-Cities and want to continue doing so, and in order to do that they need community action.

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