Sharing Lives: Holiday 2018 Edition

Share Welcomes Becci Read-Ryan as New Hunger Response Assistant Director

Becci shares her enthusiasm for her job and how our Backpack Program and Fresh Food Pantries are truly making a difference in the community:

I have a passion for providing nutrition education and food access to underserved populations. My job has been challenging and incredibly rewarding since I started in August. The first two weeks on the job, I organized an emergency mobile pantry for Evergreen and Vancouver school districts to fill the need for food while schools were unexpectedly closed.

After that, I dove headfirst into making connections with schools and figuring out how the Backpack Program and Fresh Food Pantries worked. It’s amazing how a simple bag of food positively impacts students’ and families’ ability to function and reduces stress in their life because now they have food they can count on. They know that they will get food on Fridays, and they don’t have to worry about not having anything to feed their children over the weekend. I am excited to continue growing these programs, and hope that I can provide nutritious food to low-income families throughout Clark County in a way that is accessible for them.

One of our fabulous Family & Community Resource Counselors, Jennifer Beeks, recently shared two heart-warming stories from Orchards Elementary School:

Josefina is so thankful for the food support she receives as a participating family in our Backpack Program. Her family of six truly appreciates the additional meals to help extend their family food budget.  In fact, the kids love the macaroni and cheese so much that they all wanted to have a picture taken with it. Josefina shared, “I am so grateful for this program and know that without it my kids would not have as much nutritious food to eat.” Click the link below to learn more about our Fresh Food Pantries.

Download a PDF version of the Holiday 2018 Edition of ‘Sharing Lives’ to read all the stories from this quarter.

40 Years of Service: Making Our Community Home

Share had its beginnings in 1979 when a group of caring people came together with the common goal of caring for the homeless and hungry in the Vancouver area. These individuals made a commitment to helping men and women in need, those who are often unseen or forgotten, those who are someone’s daughter, grandfather, neighbor, cousin or friend.

In 2019 Share celebrated our 40th anniversary, maintaining our commitment by remaining at the forefront to improve the lives of individuals and families who face hunger, are homeless or struggle to find affordable housing. Our start was humble, with just one shelter for single men and a daily, free hot meal. Today, we provide a spectrum of services—from the Outreach team on the streets to emergency shelters and free nutritious meals, to the Backpack program feeding hungry children and subsidized housing for low-income individuals and families, to a matched savings program and permanent housing, and so much more.

We’ve grown tremendously over the past 40 years, through visionary leadership that has allowed our organization to sustainably grow, evolving our programs based on the needs of our community. While we have been a fierce advocate for change, we’ve not done it on our own. Healthy communities thrive through partnership. By connecting multiple systems and movements, and bringing more players and voices to the table, Share has fostered and created a brighter and healthier future for generations to come.

We keep working, every day. We can build a better future for everyone and we will do it together.

Thank you for 40 years of making our community home.

‘Sharing Lives’: 2017 Fall Edition

Summer Meals Bring Smiles to Local Children

At the Cascade Woods apartment complex, children play soccer in the sport court after eating a ham & cheese sandwich, orange wedges and broccoli, courtesy of our Summer Meals program. This is just one example of the 21 sites that brought smiles and meals to local children this summer.

Kids need good nutrition all year long, so we are grateful to the hundreds of volunteers who prepare, pack and deliver these nutritious meals during the seven-week program, as well as to those who give their time handing out lunches at our meal sites. We are particularly thankful to the mangers of the seven apartment complexes whose collaboration allows us to bring the meals directly to children most at risk of hunger.

While we most often talk about the importance of nutrition, our Summer Meals Program has the added benefit or relieving stress—both mental and financial—on local families. On average, the household price of food goes up $300 per child in the summer.

Families have so much on their plates these days. Rent and food prices continue to increase and wages have not kept up with the price of living,” says Katie Dwailebee, our Hunger Response Assistant Director. “When you are struggling to put food on the table, having to provide an extra meal each day can drive your budget right over the edge. By decreasing some financial strain, parents don’t have to stretch their funds so thin and can instead purchase nutritious food for the meals they are able to provide at home.”

We’d like to give a huge thank you to Stacy Struck, this year’s Summer Meals Food Service Coordinator, for keeping our volunteers organized and enthusiastic, as well as for her hard work and dedication to feeding children in Clark County.

Download a PDF version of the Fall 2017 Edition of ‘Sharing Lives’ to read all the stories from this quarter