The need for food: Hometown Harvest Food Drive - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

The need for food: Hometown Harvest Food Drive

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YAKIMA, WA - Next Friday, all of us at NBC Right Now will be out in the Tri-Cities and Yakima for our annual Hometown Harvest Food Drive, along with our partner, Northwest Harvest.

During the holiday season, even more people show up at food banks to put meals on their tables.

"We are a state rich in farmlands," said Sheri Bissell, community engagement manager in central Washington for Northwest Harvest. "Full of agriculture. We are a state of plenty; there is plenty of food in Washington state." 

Some 1.2 million people across Washington rely on a local food bank.  But this time of year, even more people need help because their bills are higher, leaving them to make difficult decisions.

"I'm going to need to skip a meal so I can pay my electric bill. So my family can have heat in the winter."

But Northwest Harvest can do a lot with a little. 93 cents of every dollar donated can provide almost five full meals. And this year's Hometown Harvest Food Drive will feed thousands of people.

"It comes at a time where the food banks that we distribute to, all of our partner programs, have shelves that are perhaps more empty than other times of the year," Bissell said.

Last year, NBC Right Now viewers donated enough food to Northwest Harvest to make 84,700 meals. But every year, this food drive changes the lives of families during the season of giving.

"The community wants to wrap their arms around you and help you, and that's what we're here for. I would want someone to do it for me and that's what community is about."

And you don't have to wait until next week to donate. Right now, you can go to any Safeway or Albertson's in our area and buy a pre-packed bag of food for ten dollars that will go toward our food drive goals.

But we do hope to see you out there on food drive day, December 1st.