The Student News Site of Ballard High School



Follow Us on Instagram

Ballard Food Bank Volunteers continue to work through the pandemic

Local humanitarians serve the community during its greatest time of need

Adria Cooper, Staff Reporter

Originally Published June 11, 2020

While COVID-19 is forcing many organizations and businesses to shut down, the Ballard Food Bank, located at 5130 Leary Ave NW, must continue to stay open to feed the community. To do this, they need volunteers to help with the work. 

Mariana King and Kalpana Prasad are two volunteers that help the Ballard Food Bank operate. King works at Starbucks and is working on getting her Bachelors’s Degree, while Prasad works as an environmental conservationist. 

King only started work at the food bank right before the pandemic but said, “It feels like it’s been much longer with how much change we have implemented to maintain safety.” Prasad is also a newbie, having started at the food bank when her work told her a couple of weeks into a quarantine that she could not go into the field and suggested she volunteer instead.

King and Prasad may be relatively new to the Ballard Food Bank but they have quickly made a difference. “I’m mainly in charge of helping to set up the delivery option for the food bank,” said Prasad. “Usually people can come into the food bank but because of Coronavirus, that isn’t an option. So, people have to come through the drive-thru but some people don’t have cars so instead we have volunteers deliver their food to them,” she continued.

King also helps with the deliveries: “I work with Jada organizing food deliveries mostly. I am given a list of names with food preferences and allergies that I try my best to oblige to. We even provide pet food and litter plus toiletries.”

King and Prasad could not have chosen a better time to get involved in the community. According to feedingamerica.org, food banks are reporting a 70% increase in the need for food and supplies. This increase means that more workers are needed. 

The need for volunteers is so great that the National Guard was called in to help here in Washington.

“Food banks are really understaffed because a lot of the usual volunteers were elderly or at risk and weren’t able to come in,” Prasad said. “So, the governor put in an order a couple of months ago, asking the National Guard to help at the food banks and farms and all these things. 

They were originally helping with medical stuff, like hospital setups and things like that. But they are at the food bank too, doing a lot of routes and delivering things and just helping out generally for the past two months.”

While there may be more need, it seems that there are more volunteers pouring in as well despite many of them losing their jobs. “Most of our volunteers are inspiring to me; many have been furloughed, can’t work or lost their jobs during this and have still decided to give their energy toward helping the community. It’s amazing the turn out of volunteers I see every week; everyone is so committed,” King said.

“There’s a lady that I’m working with who was furloughed by Nordstrom and she decided that despite not being paid right now that she wanted to come and volunteer. I thought that was pretty inspiring. All these people are coming in as new volunteers. They could be looking for a new job right now but they are giving their time here because there are people who are in more need,” Prasad said.

Not only does the Ballard Food Bank keep Ballard and the surrounding neighborhoods such as Magnolia and Queen Anne fed, but it also provides toiletries and pet food. They accept food and cash donations and require volunteers to fill out an application.

“It’s a great resource for people who are in a difficult place. If you’re having a hard time, you should take advantage of the resources that are available to you,” Prasad said. “This is the time when people are in need so if you need something you should take advantage of the resources and if you are able to give or donate, now is a really great time to do it.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to Talisman

Your donation will support the student journalists of Ballard High School. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to Talisman

Comments (0)

All Talisman Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Activate Search
Ballard Food Bank Volunteers continue to work through the pandemic