TACOMA, Wash. — As food prices continue to increase, food banks are struggling to keep up with the costs of helping people including the largest food bank in Pierce County.
During the holidays, many people take time to practice charity and goodwill. But for the food bank known as Eloise’s Cooking Pot, every day is an opportunity to help someone in need.
Ahndrea Blue has been running Eloise’s Cooking Pot since 2010. The name comes from Ahndrea’s grandmother, who made sure everyone around her was fed.
“At a Black grandmother’s house, you can always get a free meal at their house. No matter what, they always have dinner on their table at 3:00, and anybody who walks by is allowed to eat at that table,” said Blue, CEO of Making a Difference Foundation.
Since then, Eloise’s Cooking Pot has grown into the largest food bank in Pierce County, serving around 70,000 people a month.
Ahndrea says she was inspired to start the food bank after seeing the need in Tacoma’s McKinley neighborhood but says that need still hasn’t been addressed.
“We thought it would be temporary, but 15 years later, we’re still here. The need for food is huge, Eloise is in a food desert, there’s no grocery store within two to three miles around it,” said Blue.
Ahndrea also says rising costs have made it harder to serve residents who come to her for help, who are already trying to find ways to do more with less.
“People’s government assistance has been lowered, along with the rising costs of rent and the increased costs of food. Food now is three times the price of what it was prior to COVID-19,” said Blue.
But despite the new challenges, Ahndrea remains committed to making sure folks in Tacoma and Pierce County will always have enough to eat.
“It’s very important that people can eat the food they normally would eat. They have a right to eat the food they would normally eat,” said Blue.
KING 5’s annual Home Team Harvest drive to benefit Northwest Harvest is underway. This year’s goal is to raise 23 million meals.
Ways to donate:
- Online through Northwest Harvest
- Visit your local Safeway or Albertsons to give $5, $10 or $12 toward grocery cards.
- Make in-person donations at two locations on Dec. 2 between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.
Rainier Safeway: 9262 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle, WA 98118
Everett Safeway: 5802 134th Place SE, Everett, WA 98208
Watch the Home Team Harvest broadcast special on Dec. 2 at 10 a.m. on KING 5, KING5.com and KING 5+.