FIFE, Wash. - A recent survey revealed as many as one in three Washington families have a hard time affording food.
The University of Washington and Washington State University surveyed thousands of families across our state to gauge what has changed since the onset of this pandemic. Respondents said the need for easily accessible foods continues to grow.
At the same time, hundreds of Thanksgiving meals are being prepped to share with South Sound families, many who have never before asked for help.
“For me it’s something that makes me feel really, really happy,” said Alma Pugh.
Volunteers have been toiling all week at Two Busy to Cook Catering in Fife. Pugh and her husband Brad say dozens of turkeys and all the trimmings were donated so their team could make sure hundreds of needy families get to celebrate Thanksgiving.
“The only thing we’re donating is our time,” said Alma’s life-partner Brad.
This year is the seventh in a row preparing Thanksgiving meals for strangers for the Pugh’s. The Fife Police Department would also deliver those meals directly to needy family’s homes, but social distancing guidelines changed everything.
Families with children attending The Fife School District told leadership their financial hardship had grown, according to counselor Vanessa Lindgren. She said the information gleaned from a survey filled out by parents, and worried the result could mean a traditional Thanksgiving meal for many might be a luxury that strains finances.
“Families who have been able to take care of the basic needs this year cannot in the same way,” she said.
Yet the cooks have not stopped, nor have the district’s teachers or city’s police who helped identify which families might miss Thanksgiving customs this year.
More than 400 received vouchers that invite families an opportunity to bring a traditional meal and holiday at home.
“I think it sends a message of love and hope and we’re here all together,” said Lindgren.
Police also handed out vouchers families living in nearby hotels who might otherwise miss the holiday. The Fife community banded together amidst crises to give thanks for each other during a tumultuous year.
“At the end of the day it’s not always just about what we can do for ourselves, but it’s what we can do for the community,” Brad said