Machinists collecting food for Salvation Army pantry

SEATTLE — Machinists Union District Lodge 751 members have launched a food drive to help the Salvation Army feed hungry people in south Seattle and White Center.

Fod2012b“This winter, Congress cut food stamps, and it ended extended unemployment benefits,” said Business Rep Rich McCabe, who is the food drive’s focal. “That means more people are coming to places like the Salvation Army for something to eat. Now that spring is here, the Salvation Army is running out of food in its White Center Food Pantry on a regular basis.”

Food banks across the country are reporting increased demand for food as a result of the cuts to programs for jobless people. But it’s not just unemployed people who are relying on services like the Salvation Army food pantry, said McCabe.

“There are a lot of working people in our area who don’t make enough money to feed their families,” he said. “That’s the main reason our Legislative Committee supports higher minimum wages.”

To help out, District 751 volunteers will collect non-perishable food items through the end of May, at all Puget Sound union halls.

The Salvation Army is asking for donations of:

  • High-fiber, low-sugar cereal;
  • Canned tuna or salmon (preferably packed in water);
  • 100 percent fruit or vegetable juices;
  • Canned or dried beans (kidney, black or navy);
  • Canned vegetables;
  • Peanut butter in 15 ounce or 18 ounce jars;
  • Canned fruit;
  • Pasta;
  • Canned tomatoes, or
  • Canned soup.

The Salvation Army further asks that donated food be packaged in non-glass containers.

“As a union, we can work toward long-term solutions that will get people out of poverty,” said District 751 President Jon Holden. “But in the short term, all of us should do what we can to make life better for our friends and neighbors in need. Donating to food drives is one way to help.”

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 32,000 working men and women at 50 employers across Washington, Oregon and California.

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