EVERETT, Wash. — The Volunteers of America food bank is preparing for one of its largest-ever deliveries of food, all as demand skyrockets.
In April, workers at the food bank handed out 16,000 cases of food. According to the warehouse’s manager, Dean Johnson, that was double as compared to the months immediately before the coronavirus.
"I want to move it out as quickly as I can, because (food deliveries) are a step or two from the people who need it,” said Johnson, who added that his day doesn’t end until every box is literally squared away.
“Because it’s government food, I have to track every case in and every case out. It’s a paperwork nightmare," he said.
One of the reasons why Johnson is so busy is because he’s receiving a record number of food boxes from Food Lifeline.
Thanks to added support from the National Guard, Food Lifeline is sending out a lot more pre-packed boxes of food.
“I’m a server,” Johnson told KIRO 7. “I enjoy helping people in our community, and I’ve also learned how generous people in this community are.”
KIRO 7 News was on hand as the first of several shipments arrived.
According to Johnson, so much food will be arriving that workers have had to set up a temporary storage site just to accommodate all the shipments.
“It takes up a lot of square footage, and these types of boxes, we cannot double stack,” said Chris Hatch, the manager of Volunteers of America food bank.
In the next week, 5,600 boxes of food will pass through the Volunteers of America facility.
Johnson and his fellow workers expect that it will be just the beginning.
“In the last couple of weeks, it’s been several times a week where I think, ‘How are we going to get through tomorrow?’"
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