Second Harvest expands facilities to help more children

SPOKANE, Wash.– In Spokane County, 22,000 kids don’t know where their next meal will come from.

Second Harvest is trying to chip away at that number, feeding more than 55,000 people each week in Washington and Idaho.

That’s where their Bite2Go kits are making a difference.

Nearly 6,000 students in Washington and Idaho rely on that kit to keep their bellies full.

The Oldham girls are one example of that. Their home was lost in a fire which has made it harder on their mom, Barbara, to make ends meet.

“Even with three jobs we still end up relying on extra resources, so I’m really glad they’re here for the community and us,” Barbara Oldham said.

The Bite2Go kits included a plethora of nutritional food and snacks for the kids, who receive it each Friday at the end of the school day. That leaves students across the state with some healthy food to take home for the weekend before they come back to school Monday.

Barbara’s daughters even got a chance to see where that food comes from as they volunteered with other Garfield Elementary students on Friday morning. The kids prepared the food just like any volunteer would as they bagged carrots and onions for families in need.

“I love having them be able to get involved in the communities, so having them come out and be able to really get hands on and see where food comes from to help with the food banks,” Oldham said.

Second Harvest prides itself on offering healthy food, giving those in need a chance to eat clean, too.

“I am vegan and believe in healthy whole foods and organic, so the fact that we have food banks that offer so much fresh produce is really great,” Oldham said.

Second Harvest offers several different programs for families in need as they serve more than 2.5 million pounds of food to the Inland Northwest each month.

“We don’t want to just feed people. We want to feed them really well, and we want to help move that needle in our community toward better health,” said Julie Humphreys, a communication director with Second Harvest.

Second Harvest is growing so much that they’re building a new facility right by their volunteer center on Front Ave in Spokane. That facility will be another place to create those Bite2Go kits.

The hope is for volunteers to be working in there by this summer.