News Blog for Seattle's Wedgwood and View Ridge Neighborhoods


Thanksgiving over, North Helplink food bank in “worst” financial shape, urgently needs donations

November 27th, 2012 by Support Staff

The turkey drive at North Helpline, a food bank that serves north Seattle, including Maple Leaf, Wedgwood and View Ridge, was a huge success this year. But the food bank and social service center still needs help.

“North Helpline is unfortunately suffering the worst financial condition in its history,”  North Helpline says in its current newsletter.

With the instability of our local and national economy, many of the corporations and foundations who normally provide us with financial assistance have severely cut back on their giving programs. In some cases, foundations who once provided large annual gifts are postponing for two to three years before we can re-apply. This has seriously impacted our fiscal planning.

Last year the food bank saw a 63 percent increase in needy families, while at the same time losing donations. You can help the organization, at 13000 Lake City Way N.E. Learn more at their website.

As for those turkeys?

We are pleased to report our annual Thanksgiving turkey drive at Fred Meyer last Friday through Sunday was a roaring success! We blew our numbers from last year out of the water, with 170 turkeys collected and over 4,000 pounds of food donated. We want to thank our 50+ volunteers who braved the stormy weather for hours on their weekend—they were the key to our success.

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North food bank needs Thanksgiving turkeys, cash

November 14th, 2012 by Support Staff

Here’s a seasonal plea: “We need your turkeys!”

Last Thanksgiving North Helpline, the food bank that serves northeast Seattle, including Maple Leaf, Wedgwood and View Ridge, served over 6,500 needy neighbors in the weeks leading up to Turkey Day.

They were helped by the Lake City Fred Meyer, which hosted a Turkey Drive last year and will do so again this weekend. They are across the street from the food bank, whose address is 13000 Lake City Way N.E.

This year’s drive is this weekend.

Be sure to take advantage of our collaboration with Lake City Fred Meyer for a “fill the truck” turkey drive on Friday November 16, Saturday November 17, and Sunday November 18th.

Drive hours are are Friday 12 noon to 5:30 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 11a.m. to 4.m. Get a coupon from a food bank volunteer at Fred Meyer and get a free turkey if you purchase $150 worth of goods, or a reduced price on a turkey if you purchase $100 worth or $50.

You can also drop donated turkeys off at the food bank Tuesday – Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. or on Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

We also need funds! With our local economy struggling, donations of all kinds have been extremely low. Your contribution can make a huge difference for those in need. Donations can be made via our website.

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Recycle your electronics today to benefit North Helpline

April 14th, 2012 by Support Staff

Today from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. is North Helpline’s spring electronics recycling event, benefiting non-profits like the food bank that serves northeast Seattle, including Maple Leaf, Wedgwood and View Ridge.

Anything metal, or with a plug (electronics and appliances) can be recycled, and there will be a van on site for secure and safe document shredding. We will even have limited curbside pickup available with prior arrangement for a nominal fee.

The event is free, although donations are accepted. It’s being held at Lake City Christian Church, 1933 N.E. 125th St.

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Area food bank donations down by 31 percent

December 14th, 2011 by Support Staff

Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn went to the North Helpline food bank this morning to donate food and to ask for public support of the area’s food banks, where need is up 30 percent but donations down by 31 percent in the last four years, according to a report to the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

“As the holidays approach the need is especially acute,” said McGinn. “But food banks and food programs need your help throughout the year.”

North Helpline, at 12736 33rd Ave. N.E., serves much of north Seattle, including Maple Leaf, Wedgwood and Viewridge.

The most needed items include protein (canned tuna, chicken, peanut butter), canned fruits and vegetables, fruit juices, grains (pasta, rice, macaroni), meals in a can (canned stews, chili), soups (beef stew, chili, chicken noodle,), and multigrain cereal (Cheerios, Cornflakes, Grapenuts, Raisin Bran).

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Food banks hold holiday benefits with Fred Meyer, Safeway

November 17th, 2011 by Support Staff

Two food banks that serve northeast Seattle, North Helpline and the University District Food Bank, are holding holiday benefits.

From now until Dec. 24, Safeway customers here can buy a $10 pre-packed bag of food to donate to help feed those struggling with hunger in their neighborhood. The food will go to the University food bank.

From the University food bank/Northwest Harvest:

The need for food has been steadily on the rise since the start of the recession, and in fact statewide we at Northwest Harvest have seen about a 35% increase in need. The number of Washington families struggling with hunger nearly doubled from 2008-2010 and we now rank 11th in the nation for hunger. Many people have a visual of what a food bank client looks like. These days, it’s more often than not someone who looks just like them.

The participating Safeway store addresses are  7340 35th Ave. N.E. and 3020 N..E 45th St.

North Helpline already announced it is holding a benefit in early December.

Now it’s teamed up with Fred Meyer, across the street from the food bank offices at 13000 Lake City Way N.E., for a turkey drive.

From North Helpline:

We will be onsite at the store collecting donated turkeys on

Friday the 18th – noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday the 19th 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.


North Helpline sees over 850 families each week and we need your help to make sure every table has a turkey this year.

North Helpline is a 501 (c) 3 organization.Contributions are tax deductible to the fullest extent permitted by law.

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Great deals for 12 hours at Wedgwood Safeway

August 27th, 2011 by Support Staff

Free peanut butter! Free eggs! Free apple juice! (Minimum purchase required.) Today only!

The newly renovated Wedgwood Safeway, at 7340 35th Ave. N.E., is offering great deals all day today, from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., to celebrate its expansion.

The celebration is similar to the one held when the Pinehurst Safeway reopened last November.

So stop by the Wedgwood store, pick up a coupon book and a flier at the door and start shopping. (Don’t miss the Tillamook cheese, usually $7 a brick, today two for $5.)

Also by the door is a donation bin for the North Helpline food bank. Pick up something and donate.

Budget cuts have hit North Helpline hard. In a letter to donors this month, Amy Besunder, executive director, notes:

Our client base has nearly doubled over the course of the last two years. Every week we see new faces and every week we monitor the decline in our food stocks. We have walked out to a nearly empty warehouse following food distribution and wondered how we will serve our clients the following week.

But, thanks to your donations, we keep on going!

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Federal cuts will hurt North Helpline foodbank

August 4th, 2011 by Support Staff

Our news partners at The Seattle Times have a story that begins: “The sudden, unexpected loss of $1.2 million in federal emergency food and housing money will be felt by King County’s most desperate, say local agencies.”

That loss will be felt at North Helpline, whose food bank serves northeast Seattle including Maple Leaf and Wedgwood (see post below). Its food bank is supported by Food Lifeline, a nonprofit that provides food to 26 food banks and 33 meal programs in Seattle but will forgo buying more than $235,000 worth of food this year because of the funding cut,  according to the Seattle Times story.

“This will have a huge impact,” emails Amy Besunder at North Helpline. “Food Lifeline is one of our major sources of food.  We will certainly see significantly less food as a result of this.  When you consider our increases in clients, this is a recipe for disaster.”

Want to help? Learn more about North Helpline here.

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Update on North Helpline food bank – which will be at the outdoor movies Thursday

July 31st, 2011 by Support Staff

The North Helpline food bank raised $126 and received 66 pounds of food at the Maple Leaf Summer Social last week.

It will have a table Thursday evening at Magnuson Park’s outdoor movie (this time it’s Top Gun). Seating’s at 7 p.m., movie starts at dusk.

The food bank, which serves northeast Seattle including Maple Leaf and Wedgwood, is struggling to meet vastly increased needs with decreased donations.

North Helpline will be onsite at the Seattle Outdoor Movies at Magnuson Park next Thursday, August 4th, collecting food and meeting and greeting our neighbors. Look for our booth and bring a can or two of nonperishable food along if you can!

Admission is $5.00. There will be trivia, interactive games and prizes. North Helpline will also be raffling off a $50.00 gift certificate to COA Mexican Eatery & Tequileria in Maple Leaf. For every two cans of food a person brings, they will receive a raffle ticket. No limit on the tickets so bring all the cans you can! The drawing will be held Friday, August 5th and the winner will be notified by phone.

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A plea for food bank donations – you can make them at Wednesday's Maple Leaf Summer Social or right here in Wedgwood

July 25th, 2011 by Support Staff

Make time this week to make a donation – food or money – to the North Helpline food bank.

One way would be to head over to the Maple Leaf Summer Social this Wednesday. (Here are photos from last year’s festivities.) But there are plenty of places to donate right here – last month the Wedgwood Ale House took in over 45 pounds of food for North Helpline.

The social runs from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at Maple Leaf Reservoir Park, Roosevelt Way Northeast at about Northeast 82nd Street. Among the 40 or so tables will be one with donation barrels for and information about North Helpline. The food bank also had a table at this month’s Wedgwood Art Festival.

The food bank, which serves northeast Seattle including Maple Leaf and Wedgwood, is struggling to meet vastly increased needs with decreased donations.

A plea last month brought in enough food to meet demand, but only temporarily.

“Today, my food bank manager conducted an inventory review and while we will get through the next few weeks, things look dire thereafter,” Amy Besunder, director of North Helpline, emailed today.

“In just 24 months we have seen a 63% increase in our client base and in August, a new (Seattle Housing Authority) building for 100 low-income families will open on our block. We are looking forward to having more affordable housing for struggling families, but I am definitely losing sleep in terms of thinking about my food stock and increased demand.”

She listed her needs for the next few months, and what it would cost if the food bank had to buy the food instead of getting it through donations.

  • 140 cases of Apple Juice $1,277
  • ½ Tomato Sauce and ½ Diced Tomatos @ 70 cases each $1,747
  • 140 Cases of Pork and Beans $2,218
  • 70 Cases of Tuna $1,277
  • 1/3 Chicken Noodle Soup, 1/3 Tomato Soup, 1/3 Vegetable Soup 140 Cases in total at $2,100
  • 140 Cases of Ramen Noodles at $840
  • 140 Cases of Spaghetti $2,436
  • 140 Cases of Mac & Cheese $1,344
  • 100 Bags of 50# Rice $2,150

Total: Over $17,000. “Unfortunately, we don’t have that kind of money to spend so if you can get the word out that those are our needs, it would be great,” Besunder said.

Don’t want to lug food to the park? You can donate at the North Helpline, 12736 33rd Ave. N.E., or at barrels at these businesses:

  • Walgreens Drug Store,14352 Lake City Way N.E.

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Food bank gets a week’s donations – needs more

June 21st, 2011 by Support Staff

Last week, for the first time its director can remember, the North Helpline food bank ran out of canned meat, peanut butter and other sources of protein.

After a public plea, the food bank brought in enough donations to last – well, at least through the week.

“We did collect 32 pounds of protein at Cloud City and individual donors have brought in approximately 200 pounds. I think we got another 45 pounds at Wedgwood Ale House,” said Amy Besunder, executive director.

“It is still slow going … I think we have enough for this week’s distribution.”

In her first plea Besunder wrote: “We are very low on sources of protein and could use donations of canned tuna, chicken, corned beef, chili & peanut butter or frozen packages of meat.”

You can donate at the North Helpline, 12736 33rd Ave. N.E., or at barrels at these businesses:

  • Walgreens Drug Store,14352 Lake City Way N.E.

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