The first Coast Guard food pantry that's north of Seattle opened this week to help active-duty Coast Guard families and civilian workers impacted by the federal government shutdown.
“It breaks my heart, but I’m so overjoyed to see that so many people are helping right now,” said Amy Elise, an ex-military spouse who donated.
The food pantry will be able to open to struggling families a day earlier than expected thanks to generous donations from the community. Some donors said they contributed over $500 worth of food supplies and made multiple grocery store trips or drove all the way from DuPont to give and show their support.
The food bank, which is being organized by the Chief Petty Officer's Association, was set up Wednesday next to the Navy Exchange Store at the Smokey Point Naval Support Complex, 13904 45th Avenue Northeast, Marysville.
The Coast Guard has another food bank in Seattle. Although the Smokey Point location is largely intended to serve the 120 active-duty families from the north Puget Sound and Bellingham areas, they will also share with any other Coast Guard families in need.
“It means a lot that they can feed their family, especially when spouses are underway, and they can’t provide their own support by being here, so it’s amazing,” said Autumn Majack with the U.S. Coast Guard port security.
People are encouraged to drop off non-perishable food, personal hygiene items, and diaper donations daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.
The food pantry is open to families daily between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.