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FALL 2021


What a year it’s been! I hope you and your loved ones are finding ways to stay well and connected as we see less daylight and colder weather. We’re still hard at work bringing innovation to hunger relief as we continue to navigate current COVID times. 

Our annual Fall update and fundraising letter will be out soon. I hope you’ll take a look at my remarks there and connect with us when you can. Thanks for all you do to support our work during challenging times!


-Mike Cohen,

Executive Director



Vaccine Clinics 

Staff from Medical Teams International have brought COVID-19 vaccine clinics to our food bank as well as to our partners at Mercy Housing sites. These clinics have provided easy access to the vaccine without the need for prior registration for more than 70 people among three clinics, with more to come!

Interfaith Coalition Coat Drive

This year’s Interfaith Coalition Annual Coat Drive included distribution at our downtown location. 

1,000 new and gently used coats were distributed in front of the food bank to adults and children in late October. 

Turkey Distribution 

As has been tradition for countless years, the Bellingham Bay Rotarians under leadership from Mike Hammes have procured 2,000 turkeys for food bank families around Thanksgiving. One turkey per household will be offered at our SHOP and PICK UP services November 15-19, as well as to HOME DELIVERY households on request.


The Greater Bellingham Running Club’s annual Turkey Trot 5K fun run is virtual in 2021, but still a great way to get outside and move for our cause!

Visit gbrc.net/races/turkey-trot/ to register, and thanks for donating!

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During the 2021 season, 70 gleaners gave over 550 hours during 70 gleans and yielded over 56,000 pounds!

Thanks to Jessa Patton for managing SPGP the last two seasons, to Eve Rivera for her Glean Assistant service, and to all who support this beloved seasonal program as gleaners and donors. 

See you in 2022!



Reopening our shopping floor has led to many great things! Hearing from visitors how much our food bank helps their family and how much they missed selecting their groceries has given staff and volunteers a big morale boost. The hard work that goes into sourcing items, inventory, warehouse receiving, sorting donations, setting up the floor and clean up is made worth it when we witness the growing numbers of folks who find shopping at our food bank to be an experience they can trust to make their lives easier.

Summer brought beautiful, bountiful produce and as the season shifts, we make way for apples aplenty and hearty cold-weather staples. It’s a great day when we have toilet paper to offer from open to close, and we’re loving our new motto: “Please, take only what you need.” The thousands of people who visit our food bank are in unique and individual circumstances, and our ability to meet their needs is ever improving.


Our drive through distribution of pre-packed boxes on Tuesdays at Christ the King Church’s parking lot has remained steady even as shopping visits have increased at Ellis Street. We recently considered moving to a shopping model inside the church instead of maintaining the site as a drive through as the weather turns more volatile. After surveying current visitors, we determined there was good reason to keep pre-packed boxes available in a drive through fashion to continue to offer an outdoor, low-contact way of getting items from our food bank.

Volunteer crews continue to gather twice per week to pack the boxes of food that go to CTK and other pick up sites in the county operated by our partners, as well as those headed for home deliveries. We are packing around 800 boxes weekly, with room to grow!


The home delivery program has grown more than any other facet of our services in the last quarter. We learn something new every week that we deploy our volunteer drivers to the hundreds of homes signed up to receive food boxes either weekly or every other week. We have taken on the routing and coordinating of our own program as well as the longstanding CHORE program of the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County. This means more people experiencing food insecurity are accommodated by the program without needing to meet many specific qualifications.

We hope our 3 great ways to get great food are able to help more people find hunger relief than ever before!


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We have recently welcomed some new folks to hunger relief positions in Whatcom County.


Elian Carbone joined our Operations Team in July.

Eve Rivera has shifted from seasonal Gleaning Assistant to our AmeriCorps Member for a 10 month assignment that began in October.

Ferndale Food Bank

Suzanne Nevan has retired from her role as Executive Director and Evan Anderson started in the position in June. 

“I’m incredibly humbled to be assisting the many wonderful volunteers and community members who have already devoted so much time to the fight against hunger in Ferndale and beyond.” -Evan

Foothills Food Bank

Cheryl Thompson has retired from her role as Executive Director and Sam Norris took on the role in September.

Project Hope Food Bank, Lynden

Welcome to Director Suzanne Olson!

Pictured clockwise from top left: Evan Anderson, Eve Rivera, Elian Carbone


Bellingham Food Bank will be closed on the following days:

 •Thursday, November 25 & Friday November 26 for Thanksgiving & Native American Heritage Day

 •Thursday, December 23 & Friday, December 24 for Christmas Eve & Christmas Observed  

 •Friday, December 31 for New Year's Day Observed

 •Monday, January 17 for Martin Luther King Jr. Day

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1824 Ellis St

MONDAY 10am-6pm

WEDNESDAY 10am-6pm

FRIDAY 10am-6pm


Christ the King Church

4173 Meridian St 



FRIDAYS 9am-3pm


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