Machinists join ‘Home team,’ help NW Harvest

AUBURN — Thousands of struggling Washington families will eat better this winter, thanks to the efforts of Machinists Union District Lodge 751 members during KING-TVs annual Hometeam Harvest food drive.

More than 200 Machinists and members of their families volunteered at the annual event, helping the Seattle television station’s successful effort to collect enough food and cash to provide Northwest Harvest with 2.7 million meals — enough to total 10 million meals in 10 years.

In addition, the union and its members raised $3,106.62 in cash, and collected more than a half-ton of food during a month-long drive conducted through union halls in Auburn, Everett, Renton and Seattle.

Union officers delivered the food and presented the check in Auburn, during KING-TV’s live broadcast of the food drive on Dec. 4.

This was the ninth year that volunteers from the union have taken part in the Hometeam Harvest event, making District 751 a key member of KING-TV’s “home team.”

“Truly, the Aerospace Machinists Union has become as much a part of Hometeam Harvest as anyone else,” said Betsy Robertson, who as community relations manager for KING-5 organizes the event. 

“It’s never been an official partnership,” she continued, “but you should know how much we appreciate you and have come to depend on you for your leadership on location each year. You’re the ones out there directing traffic and carrying those big bags of food from trunks to trucks.”

Hometeam Harvest is always one of the Machinists Union’s biggest volunteer events of the year. But for 2010, District 751 decided it was time to do even more.

“We really tried to step it up,” said Robley Evans, the chairman of the Machinists Volunteer Program, the union’s community service arm. “We collected more food, we collected more money and we signed up more volunteers.”

The union’s MVPs volunteer in the kitchens of rescue missions in Everett and Tacoma each month, and see first-hand how many people are going hungry during this recession, he said. State data shows that one in seven Washington state residents is on food stamps.

“We did it because we know what the need is,” Evans said. “Every can of chili and every dollar donated can make a real difference for real people right here at home.” 

It was a fitting way to end 2010, during which District 751 celebrated its 75th anniversary, said Secretary/Treasurer Susan Palmer.

“For 75 years, we’ve had two goals: to make the aerospace industry a better place to work, and to build better communities where our members live,” Palmer said. “We’d like to thank KING 5 for taking the lead on Hometeam Harvest. We’re proud to be a part of it.”

Organized in 1935 to represent hourly workers at Boeing, District 751 now represents more than 25,500 working men and women at 42 employers in Washington, Oregon and California.

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3 Responses to “Machinists join ‘Home team,’ help NW Harvest”
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  1. […] also made a big difference in the lives of struggling Washington residents in December, as hundreds of union volunteers turned out for food drives and to raise money for the Salvation Army’s charity […]

  2. […] when the union partners with Seattle TV station KING and Northwest Harvest, a local food bank, for an annual holiday food drive. Volunteers also do annual spring cleaning at a local summer camp and scores turn out on weekends […]

  3. […] the 10th year that District 751 will team with KING-TV for the Home Team Harvest drive. Last year, the union and its members raised more than $3,100 in cash and collected more than a half-ton of food during a month-long campaign, and more than 200 […]

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