A steady stream of cars made their way through the temporary park-and-ride lot Friday afternoon as volunteers distributed food and face masks to Mountlake Terrace community members.
In partnership with the Volunteers of America of Western Washington (VOAWW), Mountlake Terrace officials set up a pop-up food pantry in the former Roger’s Marketplace site at the west side of 57th Avenue West and 232nd Street Southwest. In an effort to help those economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the VOAWW has been operating in Lynnwood on Thursdays for the past several weeks, and MLT City Councilmember Steve Woodard worked to bring the pop-up pantry to Mountlake Terrace.
“It’s just been exciting to say the least,” he said. “It’s been excellent in that regard of just really trying to focus on the (pantry’s) ongoing resources.”
The VOAWW donated more than 1,000 boxes containing pasta, canned meals, protein and other food items. Each person who visited the site received a box of food. Boxes of fresh produce and free face masks were also handed out.
Woodard said 429 VOAWW boxes were distributed along with more than 200 produce boxes, eggs from MLT Backyard Poultry and other non-perishable donations from residents who wanted to help. Another 40 boxes went to the Cedar Way Elementary pantry, and volunteers also delivered food boxes to 24 placebound residents.
According to Woodard, 131 households (or 421 individuals) were served by Friday’s pop-up pantry. Additionally, 696 masks were distributed and about 176 2 oz. hand sanitizer bottles were given out.
“Steve (Woodward) has been a champion for getting this done,” said VOAWW project manager Dave Jordan. “I think it’s amazing to see local politicians really caring about their communities.”
The full list of partners involved in the pop-up pantry include the City of Mountlake Terrace in ongoing partnership with Volunteers of America Western Washington, Concern for Neighbors Food Bank, Cedarwood International Food Bank, MLT Senior Center and Creekside Church, MLT Foundation, Edmonds College Food Pantry, MLT Police Department, Farmer Frog, EastWest Food Rescue, Kindness Rocks MLT, MLT Backyard Poultry and South County Fire.
— Story and photos by Cody Sexton