Seattle's Child

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Food Insecurity on the Rise Since the Start of Pandemic

Farmers work together to collect food supplies for pantries.

A call from a neighbor to borrow food pallets, turned into an amazing project of food rescue and redistribution.

In operation for a little over 2.5 weeks Zsofia Pasztor, George Ahearn, and Nancy Balin have managed to collect over 177 tons of produce from farmers in Eastern Washington.

The recent break in the food distribution chain (caused by the pandemic) left an excess of food. Through redistribution efforts, Pasztor and her team supplied over 85 food banks and food programs with bags of potatoes, apples, onions, and smaller amounts of produce.

Pasztor said, “I can’t not do it. We came here as refugees and I saw that people needed help and I needed to help them. I can’t walk away from it.”

The CoVid-19 crisis has increased food insecurity and need in all communities. Pasztor and her team of volunteers bagged food to serve over 41,000 households just this past week. Sending truck after truck to collect more farm-fresh foods, Pasztor saw that this project was more of a long term endeavor and created a Facebook page called EastWest Food Rescue (also a non-profit), as well as a Go Fund Me asking for volunteers, donations, and more recently a call for refrigerated trucks to bring back more produce- fruits and vegetables.

She asks that readers join her page, volunteer, donate and help as best they can. “Help for humans in need, [provided by] humans who care is what is going to get us through. We have the East and West [parts of Washington] working together without any politics and it’s just amazing to see everyone coming together.”

Volunteers follow safety precautions on the farm with masks and safe social-distancing. Join and learn more by contacting EastWestFoodRescue@gmail.com.

About the Author

Jasmin Thankachen

Jasmin is an Eastside mom of two boys, 6 and 9, and enjoys parenting with lots of laughter. She loves to travel, watch a good drama, and the seaside. Co-Founder of PopUp StoryWalk, she also loves children's picture books, essay writing, and community stories.