Machinists fight hunger during Hometeam Harvest
SEATTLE — More than 130 Machinists Union volunteers were out Saturday at sites around Puget Sound helping KING-TV‘s annual Hometeam Harvest food drive.
The annual food drive took place at malls and shopping centers across Western Washington. It was to benefit Northwest Harvest food banks.
Union volunteers presented two checks totaling $3,300 to Northwest Harvest. One, for $2,300, was donated by Machinists Union District Lodge 751, which represents aerospace machinists at the Boeing Co. and other employers. The other was from the Washington Machinists Council, which represents all Machinists Union members statewide, including those in the forest products, transportation, manufacturing and airline industries.
With Northwest Harvest able to provide a meal for 22 cents, the union’s contribution was enough to pay for nearly 15,000 meals, food drive organizers said.
Along with the cash, the Machinists contributed labor, helping to load the Northwest Harvest semi-trailers with food donated by the public. The volunteers also brought non-perishable food items donated by union members during local lodge meetings.
“Hunger’s no game,” said Robley Evans, the chairman of the Machinists Volunteer Program, which is the community service arm of District 751. “We see hungry people all too often, when we volunteer at the homeless shelters around Puget Sound, and we know that everything we can do as a community helps.”
This is the 11th year that Machinists Union members have taken part in Hometeam Harvest. It is always one of the largest community service events of the year for the union’s “MVPs,” who volunteer year-round in support of Northwest Harvest, the Salvation Army, Guide Dogs of America and homeless shelters in Everett and Tacoma.
“Our union has two goals, making our companies better places to work and making our communities better places to live,” said Evans. “Thanks to Hometeam Harvest, a lot of our neighbors will have things a little better this winter, and we’re proud to do our part to help real this year’s goal of 3 million meals.”
Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at the Boeing Co., District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents more than 33,000 working men and women at 48 employers across Washington, Oregon and California. Over the past four years, District 751 volunteers have raised more than $1 million for Guide Dogs of America, including a record $299,000 raised in 2012 alone.