ARLINGTON – The Stillaguamish tribe has donated more than $ 1 million this month to the food bank and fire department in northern Snohomish County.
The first check, $ 300,000 each, goes to the Arlington and Stanwood Camano food banks. Then came another $ 300,000 donation for the Northern County Emergency and Fire Medical Service, and $ 180,000 for the Oso Fire Department. The donation is the latest effort to “care more about the welfare of their local communities and to help make a positive impact, during a period of ongoing uncertainty,” the tribe said in a news release.
“Looking at the check, I have to do a double take,” said Lynne Ayers, executive director of Stanwood Camano Food Bank. “It was extraordinary, jaw dropping and just an extraordinary gift for our community and our members.”
Demand at the food bank has skyrocketed due to the coronavirus pandemic. Volunteers distribute 113,000 pounds of food every month – almost double the average amount. There is a 300% increase in registrations for families who have never used a food bank.
The organization’s backpack program, which provides food for children in need, has changed from 1,200 children per week to 4,800.
Overall, operating costs tripled, Ayers said.
The tribal donation will cover the bill for four and a half months.
“Amazing,” Ayers said.
Donations for the North County Emergency and Fire Medical Services will cover the costs for 4,200 calls received by the office each year, the tribe said.
“As many know, Oso has been hit by past natural disasters, and COVID-19 is another hurdle that must be overcome by small communities,” Shawn Yanity, Chief of the Stillaguamish Tribe, said in a news release. “This team and those in North County are doing extraordinary work, and we want to support them.”
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