News outlets often talk about food banks around Thanksgiving or Christmas, when it's cold and snowy in the Inland Northwest. However, they don't typically talk about food banks on hot sunny days in July.
For many, families, summertime is when the need is at its greatest.
At the food bank in Medical Lake, people are lined up at 9:00 a.m. In a sleepy, quiet town away from the hustle and bustle, the line proves that hunger isn't just a big-city problem.
Peg James is the food bank director and oversees deliveries of produce, protein and dairy. Clients said once they knew her for five minutes, you can see why she is such a positive force.
"I never turn away a client. I never turn away a donation, food or money. I never turn away a volunteer," said James.
James said she needs the help. She said 245 families walked out of the bank with food in June. Clients said the bank is important to their lives.
"I take home the staples that kind of keep you going, (like) potatoes and whatnot to help you with your other food to stretch it a little longer," said client Pamela Stratton.
"This place is good. People should donate money because it really helps the community," said 11-year-old client Levi Smith.
James said kids like 11-year-old Levi are the reason food banks really need the public's help right now. When most kids are out of school for the summer, they don't get a lunch because that's where they usually get their afternoon meal.
"We actually will start changing the things we provide because we know kids are home. We give them some extra cereal and extra milk if we can provide it. We go out and buy hot dogs (and) easy things for kids to fix," said James.
The food bank gets donations from the community and from Second Harvest. The proceeds from the Care And Share Thrift Store also allow them to buy whatever food they can. However, the federal food allotment has gone down 51 percent this year, even though the need at the bank has shot up 100 percent since 2009.
But James said these clients aren't numbers, but neighbors to help.
"There's a misconception that this becomes robotic, that you get your food and go away. Nothing could be further from the truth. We try to make this feel like a family here," said James.
People can help the Medical Lake Food bank, as well as other banks in the Spokane area. KXLY4 will have a What's For Lunch food drive July 13. Those who wish to donate at any Yoke's store in the Inland Northwest all day.