PUD Food Bank Donation

The PUD presents check to Lewis County Food Bank Coalition. From right to left: LCFBC olenteer J.C. Hewitt and Susan Barlow, PUD General Manger Chris Roden, PUD Customer Service Manager Jennifer Bush.

The Lewis County Public Utility District raised $7,000 for the Lewis County Food Bank Coalition through a three-week, employee-sponsored food bank fund drive. 

“We live in a fantastic community and we’ve seen a lot of that this year. It helps tremendously to fill the gaps in food purchases and to make sure that there’s enough food out there,” said Susan Barlow, a six-year volunteer with the Lewis County Food Bank Coalition.

Through the food bank, each donated dollar has $1.72 in buying power, so the donation from the PUD is able to purchase about $12,000 worth of food in bulk, the LCFBC estimated.

Historically, the PUD has sponsored families with meals throughout the holidays including items like turkey, ham and side dishes.

“However, due to the pandemic, we still wanted to help families experiencing hardship in the community while also maintaining social distancing, etc. Therefore, we decided to host an employee fund drive to support food banks in our service territory,” Willie Painter, public affairs manager with the PUD, said.

Painter said it was important to the PUD that the funds raised benefit multiple communities throughout the PUD’s service area. The Lewis County Food Bank Coalition distributes food to nine food banks in Lewis County — the Centralia, Chehalis, Toledo, White Pass, Pe Ell, Salkum, Mineral, Morton and Winlock/Vader Food Banks.

“The PUD is fitting because they serve the whole community. They keep us warm and lit up. It’s really cool,” Barlow said.

The Lewis County Food Bank Coalition is a non-profit organization that has been in operation since 1988. The Coalition acts as a central warehouse where donations are collected from the public, local companies and sponsors. Barlow said that the LCFBC is always looking for new volunteers and donations. More information can be found on the LCFBC’s website at lcfbc.net/.