Food Lifeline opens new food bank to help with growing demands

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SEATTLE -- Washington's largest food bank, Food Lifeline, opened a new facility Monday to help with the growing demand for food during the coronavirus crisis.

Like many food banks across the country, Food Lifeline says the demand for food has nearly doubled since the Covid-19 outbreak.

The 160,000 square foot distribution warehouse, located in Seattle's SoDo District, will allow Food Lifeline to more than double its capacity and staffing.

"Everything from handwashing to social distancing, wearing masks is going to keep us safe and keep other people safe, so this size of the warehouse allows us to host groups of people who can work to meet the need that we're finding on a daily basis to help the community," said Amythst Shipman with Food Lifeline.

Food Lifeline, which relies heavily on food donations, says donations have dropped 70 percent. Officials said it's now having to purchase items on their own.

"A family who received a food box said they just ran out of food this morning, and it was such a blessing, so it makes a significant difference," Shipman said.

The National Guard says it's a privilege to be a part of history.

"What you're seeing are your neighbors out here helping to distribute food to those around Seattle, so we're really excited to be here and be a part of that mission," said Lt. Matthew Sutherland.

Food Lifeline is also partnering with Northwest Harvest and Second Harvest Inland Northwest in Spokane, to develop a statewide coordinated response.

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