Tomorrow, Thursday, December 17th marks 10 days since KING 5, Northwest Harvest, and our sponsor US Bank were able to announce and celebrate reaching our goal of raising 10 million meals in 10 years for Home Team Harvest.
Why is that significant?
Well, I can tell you it’s more than having the number 10 in common. You see, I just did a little math. Inspired by an unrelated news report and a conversation with KING 5’s Jean Enersen when she merely asked “what next?”
In order to reach the milestone of “10 million meals in 10 years” we had to raise more than 2.7 million meals THIS year. A huge number, to be sure, and one that earned every one of our donors a big thank you and pat on the back. But now let’s look at how it applies to the need in Washington State.
On Tuesday, the state Employment Security Department reported “job growth in a holding pattern.” From October to November 2010, the unemployment remained at 9.2 percent. An estimated 322,703 people in Washington were unemployed and looking for work last month and 240,201 people were getting unemployment benefits.
There were the numbers, staring right back at me. The reason the number of clients and the demand for services from food banks are at a record high. If just over 240 thousand of the unemployed are still receiving benefits – what about the remaining 82,500?
2.7 million meals goes just far enough to provide 3 square meals to that many people – for 10 days. And that’s assuming they’re the only ones lining up outside food bank doors. Hence the significance of the 10 day celebration.
So now what?
What can we do as a community the other 355 days of the year?
That question is the reason Home Team Harvest will continue through the end of the month. It’s the reason we continue to promote awareness among our viewers and ask that maybe just once a week, the money that might go to your morning (or afternoon) latte is redirected somewhere else. It’s the reason we shouldn’t stop at 2.7 million meals – but shatter that mark!
Northwest Harvest is committed to serving the most vulnerable in our population no matter the day, no matter the season and KING 5 is eager to help.