Puyallup Food Bank will lose building Jan. 6, in dire need of help

A Pierce County food bank is in dire need of a helping hand this holiday season.

The Puyallup Food Bank provides fresh vegetables, proteins, canned foods and frozen meals to thousands of people every month. This year, the need skyrocketed because of COVID-19.

“We’ve been doing this for 48 years and these are families that have always made sure that we’ve had the food or the monetary donations. Now their small businesses are starting to go under and they’re needing to use our services and it’s such an honor to be able to be here for them,” said Shanna Peterson, Interim President Puyallup Food Bank.

Janice Cughan is one of many who depends on the food bank.

“These guys have helped me out more times than I needed it, especially during the summertime when I got furloughed, so I’m trying to catch back up now. It’s going to be really, really hard, it’s going to be a tough Christmas too,” said Cughan.

Peterson said the pantry used to see about 2,500 people a month. These days, they’re serving closer to 9,000.

“They’ve helped me out when I’ve needed it the most,” said Cughan.

Now the food bank is asking for help. Donations are down and there’s fewer volunteers. On top of it all, they outgrew their 6,000 square foot building and moved into an old Safeway, which is five times the size.

However, time is ticking. Jan. 6 they have to be out.

“They have it leased out to someone else, so we’re going to have to find another place,” said Peterson.

The plan is to buy a building, but they need more time. The food bank hopes someone in the community can offer them six months of warehouse space, which would only be used to store dry goods.

“That way we have the stock we need in order to feed the families,” said Peterson.

Without help, Peterson isn’t sure what the Puyallup Food Bank is going to do, but she knows, no matter what happens, they’ll always make sure Pierce County families are fed.