Ballard Food Bank announces Amazon has donated to its Hope Beyond Hunger capital campaign and formed a strategic partnership to bring food and hope to people across northwest Seattle. The multifaceted partnership includes $750,000 in total funding for the future of Ballard Food Bank, Amazon employee volunteering support, and an exploration of innovative community programs and markets where families can shop and access healthy food with dignity.
“This is an exciting investment in Ballard Food Bank’s ability to serve people in our community—now and for generations to come. Our partnership with Amazon will help build our amazing new home and bring critical resources to families at risk of hunger,” said Jen Muzia, Executive Director of Ballard Food Bank. “Amazon has answered the call at a critical time when so many of our neighbors are struggling with the impacts of COVID-19.”
Amazon has provided grants totaling $500,000 for the Hope Beyond Hunger capital campaign to support Ballard Food Bank’s future home—scheduled to open in fall 2021—plus $250,000 to support innovative programming for families and children in need. The two organizations are also exploring how Amazon’s employees can bolster the 190-person volunteer force that fuels the Food Bank’s operations.
“Amazon is committed to addressing basic needs to help ensure children and their families are supported with the resources that they need,” said Bettina Stix, Amazon Director of Right Now Needs and Disaster Relief. “With our partnership and donation to Ballard Food Bank, we are laying the groundwork together for long-lasting, innovative hunger relief programs that leverage Amazon’s scale for good and help drive forward the organization’s critical work to alleviate hunger and strengthen the Northwest Seattle community.”
Ballard Food Bank’s future location at 1400 N.W. Leary Way will serve an expanded area including Licton Springs through Bitter Lake and up to 145th Street. Several of these communities have pressing needs, and the Food Bank will provide greater access to nutritious food and other services. The new 11,000-square-foot building will feature a larger grocery-store-style food bank and improved Community Resource Hub, where organizations will offer housing assistance, medical care, veterans’ benefits, and more—all in one place. The future home of Ballard Food Bank will be an innovative, holistic solution to addressing hunger and poverty by empowering and connecting individuals and families to healthy food and resources. Amazon and Ballard Food Bank are exploring many avenues of collaboration, including leveraging Amazon’s logistics network to donate delivery services through Amazon’s Community Delivery program, piloting a food and supply purchasing project, and other innovative hunger relief programming.
Amazon employees on Ballard Food Bank’s board are excited about the company’s support and eager to mobilize more Amazon employees to get involved. “This is an important moment for Ballard Food Bank. Needs have soared in the past year, and many people who have never been to a food bank now need help to feed their families. I’m proud of Amazon’s leadership and commitment to support these critical efforts,” said Nina Lindsey, Amazon Global Manager of Operations Support and a member of Ballard Food Bank’s board of directors.
The new building will open at a critical time. At the beginning of the pandemic, the Ballard Food Bank was already bursting at the seams with 3,200 household visits and deliveries each month; that number has now doubled to 6,400. Staff and volunteers have met this dramatic increase by quickly pivoting their service model to safer drive-thru and home delivery, avoiding person-to-person contact as much as possible.
“With so many people coming to us for food, our old space just doesn’t work anymore. Our food bank is set up like a grocery store where people can browse and choose the food they need. When it’s safe to have people back inside, we will absolutely need a bigger space in a new home,” said Jen Muzia.
This will be the first building that Ballard Food Bank has owned—an effort that has brought together supporters including The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the City of Seattle, the State of Washington, and many individual donors.
To learn more about Ballard Food Bank’s future home, please visit: https://www.ballardfoodbank.org/ournewhome
About Ballard Food Bank:
Ballard Food Bank’s mission is to bring food and hope to our neighbors because there can be enough for everyone. We serve individuals living in Northwest Seattle, including Ballard, Magnolia, Queen Anne, Fremont, Phinney Ridge, Green Lake, Westlake, and parts of South Lake Union. To achieve our mission, we provide access to nutritious foods and services that support self-sufficiency, and we advocate for food equity and justice. For more information, please visit: https://www.ballardfoodbank.org/ournewhome.