Congressman Rick Larsen takes a school food pantry tour

Nourishing Network’s Program Director Thame Fuller walks through a repurposed locker room storing food while U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen watches at right.
Foundation for Edmonds School District Executive Director Deborah Brandi said that food doesn’t stay around long enough to expire.
Larsen hams it up with the bananas.
A whiteboard is used to coordinate pop-up pantries, which provide nutrition assistance to local schools.
L-R: Mountlake Terrace City Councilmember Steve Woodard joins Brandi and Larsen for a photo.

U.S. Rep. Rick Larsen came to Edmonds Friday to learn about the Foundation for Edmonds School District’s Nourishing Network food pantry.

Joining Larsenns, who represents the 2nd District, for the tour were Foundation Executive Director Deborah Brandi, Nourishing Network Program Director Thame Fuller and Mountlake Terrace City Councilmember Steve Woodard.

The Nourishing Network pantry provides nutritious meals to Edmonds School District students and families in need. Last year, the Nourishing Network served 9,483 weekend meals to 360 district students each week. The program helped keep kids and their families fed year-round by also providing 5,758 summer meals. The organization, staffed by many dedicated volunteers, has reached out to struggling families using weekend meal kits and a delivery service that was filled an important need during COVID lockdowns.

“What surprised me most was the magnitude of the food supply program, which indicates how much need there is,” Larsen said, adding that food security was a large point of debate during last week’s congressional budget discussions.

Larsen — along with late Alaskan U.S. Rep. Don Young — introduced bipartisan legislation to provide summer meals while schools were closed during the pandemic.

— Story and photos by Jasmine Contreras-Lewis

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