An integral part of BMAC's work is supplying food for those in need. Food from multiple community food drives, gleaning projects, grocery rescue, Second Harvest, and the USDA is stored in the BMAC Food Bank warehouse and distributed through local pantries, the Senior Food Program (CSFP), the Weekend Backpack Program, and other programs.
Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM until 2:00 PM for donations.
BMAC collects and stores food, then distributes it to Walla Walla’s four emergency food pantries.
People in need of food assistance can obtain an Emergency Food Voucher at Helpline. The following local food pantries accept this voucher within the City of Walla Walla:
The Pantry Shelf - 325 S. 1st Ave. - M/W/F, call for hours - (509) 526-4169
St. Vincent de Paul - 308 W. Main St. - M/W/F, 9:30-11:45 am - (509) 525-3903
The Salvation Army - 827 W. Alder St. - T/Th, 10:00 am - 12:00 noon - (509) 529-9470
Waitsburg Resource Center - 106 Preston Avenue, Waitsburg - Sat, 9:00-11:00 a.m. and Thurs, 2:00-4:00 p.m. - 509-337-6589 or 509-629-2988
Community Food Bank of Dayton - 111 S. First Street, Dayton - call for hours: - (509) 382-2322 or (509) 382-2137
Garfield County Food Bank - 865 W Main St, Pomeroy - call for hours: - (509) 843-3563
Asotin Food Bank - 1546 Maple Street, Clarkston - M-F 10:00 am - 3:00 pm - (509) 758-7085
Senior Food Program
The Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) food distribution is held monthly at the BMAC Food Bank. The program is for seniors over 60 years old. Applications for CSFP are available at the main office or the Food Warehouse. The CSFP Food Distribution occurs on the 3rd Thursday of each month. The dates for 2018 are:
For more information about this federally-supplied program, visit the USDA website.
Washington State Basic Food Program (Food Stamps)
In keeping with our emphasis on building healthy families through proper diet, BMAC now is the local contact agency for Washington State Basic Food Program (former food stamps).
We have dedicated staff who strive to make the enrollment process as hassle-free as possible. There is online registration as well as over the telephone. Our goal is to reach as many people in the Walla Walla Valley who are eligible. This federally funded food program not only helps with food budgets but it also brings needed dollars into our communities.
For more information, call our office at 529-4980 and ask to speak to someone about the Basic Food Program.
Weekend Backpack Program
Currently, one-third of the population we serve is under the age of 18. Children who face very low food security are more likely to report 4 or more Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) leading to lifelong struggles with emotional, physical and spiritual health. Reports of physical and emotional abuse are shown to be significantly associated with very low food security. These children have lower test scores and poorer comprehension of basic reading and math skills. They are often labeled as 'troubled' as they frequently are plagued by lack of attention, outbursts, and hyperactivity. They have stunted growth, higher rates of acute and chronic illnesses, much higher rates of obesity and type-2 diabetes, as well as cavities and weak enamel. They miss more school than their more food- secure counterparts and are more often required to enroll in summer school or to repeat a grade. Further reading about the psychology of food insecure children can be found at the following links:
For each of the past three years, we have built and distributed 300 to 360 bags of food to students right before both winter and spring breaks. During the school week, these students receive free or reduced cost meals from the school but go hungry during those extended breaks from the school meal program. To enhance the effectiveness of our child hunger initiative BMAC expanded the goal to also provide Friday food packs to students every weekend during the spring of 2017. During the spring of 2017, we provided 18% (91 backpacks) of the goal for the 2017-2018 school year.
Each backpack includes 2 breakfasts, 2 lunches, and two snacks.
For the 2017-2018 school year, it was our intent to expand the distribution of the Friday Backpack program from five elementary schools to all twelve elementary schools in Walla Walla County, to provide weekend nutrition for 20% (492 backpacks) of the kids eligible for free and reduced-cost meals at those schools. Through a year-long grassroots campaign, we reached our goal in January 2018!
Additional donations will go toward increasing nutrition and providing extra meals during long weekends, like President's Day.
Or, volunteer to transport food bags to a Walla Walla Valley elementary school. Contact Jeff Mathias at 509-529-3561 for more information.
Farm to Food Pantry
Getting fresh produce into the emergency food system is an increasingly important part of hunger-relief efforts in communities across Washington. BMAC is partnered with Rotary First Harvest and the Washington Department of Agriculture (WSDA) in a collaborative effort to bring local produce to those in need through "Farm to Food Pantry." This program allows BMAC to purchase fresh produce directly from local small farms, including Frog Hollow Farm, Hayshaker Farm, R&R Produce, and Welcome Table Farm. In the first year, these contracted farms supplied BMAC with cherries, apricots, peaches, lettuce, chard, radish, beans, mixed veggies, garlic, corn, potatoes, cabbage, beets, carrots, rutabaga, zucchini, cucumber, and more. These foods were distributed through BMAC's food pantry network to people in need in our communities.
According to Rotary First Harvest, "purchasing directly from a local farmer will increase the availability of local crops while improving access to healthier food choices for families and individuals in need. Buying produce directly from the farmers also dramatically strengthens the bond between farmer and food bank. Our experience has shown that if a farmer has a strong relationship with a local food bank they are significantly more inclined to make additional produce donations."
For more information on the Farm to Food Pantry state-wide program, visit the WSDA website.
The Farm to Food Pantry program grant requires a community matching funds. If you are interested in contributing to increasing the amount of fresh nutritious food distributed to pantry clients and supporting local farms please make a donation today.
The BMAC Food Bank accepts fresh garden produce throughout the growing season from 8 am to 2 pm Monday –Friday.
How to HelpYou can help to ensure that your neighbors have access to nutritious food:
- Donate food items to 921 West Cherry St. Walla Walla, next to Washington Park.
The following is a list of commonly-donated food:
Canned food, sealed and with labels
Boxed foods, unopened
Juice and other beverages
- Sponsor weekend meals for food-insecure elementary school students in Walla Walla. Call for more information: 509-529-3561
- Volunteer at the BMAC Food Bank.
Dayton Mobile Food Bank
August 23, 2018 from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. | Columbia County Fairgrounds, Dayton
North Pine Street, Dayton
Walla Walla Mobile Food Bank
September 27, 2018 from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. | BMAC Food Bank, 921 West Cherry Street, Walla Walla, WA 99362.
**Free produce and perishable items for low- income families**
**No food card, appointment or documentation needed**
Please call with any questions, 509-529-3561.