Loading up and preparing to head out, driver Howard Breckon takes inventory, counting pallets full of canned goods and dry grains destined for dinner tables all across the state. A warehouse in Kent is where Northwest Harvest keeps the bulk of its bounty.
"Northwest Harvest has really had to look ahead in projecting fuel costs that may rise so we can budget for them," said Andrea Flatley, Communications Manager with Northwest Harvest.
Northwest Harvest isn't just about the food, it's about getting it where it needs to go.
"There are two semi drivers and we cover the whole state, basically," says Howard Breckon, a semi driver for Home Team Harvest.
Covering that cost gets harder every year. Howard's rig drinks about $800 worth of diesel to fill its two tanks. Worth every penny, he says.
"It's one of those necessary evils. You've got to get the food out there to the people," he said.
So Howard comes up with creative ways to carry his lifesaving load.
"Running the truck on cruise control is a lot more efficient than using your right foot," said Breckon.
He is part of a driving force, helping to keep the money where the mouths are. A special delivery Howard is happy to make: "You get out there and you see the people that you're actually helping."
Monday's destination: Sedro Woolley, where food banks are poised to cash in on Howard's cargo.
The Skagit Food distribution center is home base. Counting on every canned good and the good people who get it here to feed the 800 families a week and counting.
"It doesn't just magically arrive on the shelves. Unfortunately we're not like Star Trek where we can just blink things into being," says Rita Ordonez, Food Access Manager for Skagit Community Action. "The need is definitely growing."
Fuel prices have fallen so that has helped. Either way, Northwest Harvest budgets for any potential price spike so it never impacts the food side of the operation.
Northwest Harvest feeds the hungry across the state. The most desired items: proteins like canned tuna and chicken, chili, canned vegetables, baby food.
If you can’t donate food consider a cash donation. Northwest Harvest can serve a family of three for just 67 cents.
Just text "HOMETEAM" to 85944 to make a $10 donation, or donate at US Bank branches and Safeway stores in Western Washington.
This Saturday is the KING 5 Hometeam Harvest. We'll be out collecting donations across Western Washington. Drop off donations at any of 10 collection sites.
- Kitsap Mall
- Everett Mall
- Safeway, Bothell
- Northgate Mall
- Redmond Town Center
- Bellevue Square
- U.S. Bank, Renton
- Tacoma Mall
- Pier 1 Plaza, Olympia
- Coastal Harvest, Aberdeen