PUYALLUP, Wash. — The sun was shining in Puyallup as an army of volunteers gathered to support “mega week.” It’s an annual effort coordinated by a non-profit known as Lend a Hand Community Outreach.
The organization was established in 2018 to help with the south King County homeless population and has grown to be a vital resource to the many who are facing food insecurity under the pandemic.
This week, the organization is loading up hundreds of vehicles with food donations from multiple community partners.
"It's not just food, but massive food," said Lend a Hand founder Fia Taito. "We're loading up everyone's vehicle today, and making sure they are provided for two weeks worth of food today."
Taito said she never imagined her work would be so needed until last February.
That's when Lend a Hand increased its efforts and established numerous strategic partnerships to amplify its impact. Farm to Families USDA food boxes, Cascadia Produce, Farmer Frog and EastWest Food Rescue combine resources each week to distribute 12,000 boxes of produce, meat and dairy.
Lend a Hand says they’re capable of distributing upwards of 12 semi-truck loads in a single week. Local businesses often contribute baked goods, fresh items and even pet food. Their ever-expanding network of volunteers also distributes the food and other supplies to the areas of greatest need.
Taito says they’re currently serving King, Kitsap and Pierce counties. Anyone who might be interested in volunteering or who may need some assistance with food can find Lend a Hand on Facebook.
Lend a Hand Community Outreach has assisted nearly half a million families and credits their impact to the volunteers and generous donors.