Boeing employees give $750,000 in new grants to help local food banks

Local Employees Community Fund of Boeing acts fast to help organizations during the COVID-19 crisis

April 23, 2020 in Our Community

Volunteers at work inside Food Lifeline’s new 160,000 square foot distribution facility in Seattle, Wash.

Photo courtesy: Food Lifeline

Confronted with health risks, school closures and job disruptions caused by the COVID-19 crisis, more people than ever have turned to non-profit organizations for basic needs. During this challenging time the Puget Sound chapter of the Employees Community Fund of Boeing (ECF) has taken swift action to enable local organizations through emergency grants and other measures.

Working outside their typical grant cycle, the Puget Sound ECF chapter made two special $375,000 grants to Northwest Harvest and Food Lifeline.

Shelves at a Washington food bank are stocked thanks to generosity of community members.

Photo courtesy: Northwest Harvest

“This support couldn’t have come at a better time,” said Nate Pedigo, director of corporate and foundation relations for Food Lifeline. “We are beyond grateful. Support from our community has helped us secure and equip a second warehouse location in Seattle, designed specifically for our COVID-19 response effort.”

Community support has enabled Food Lifeline to secure and equip a second warehouse location in Seattle, designed specifically for the nonprofit’s COVID-19 response effort. The additional 160,000 square feet will be used to produce and distribute 80,000 emergency food boxes a week. Additionally, the new space made it possible for Food Lifeline to partner with the Washington National Guard, which is deploying 250 members to support Food Lifeline’s work. Food Lifeline also supports efforts throughout Snohomish County.

The $375,000 grant to Northwest Harvest will provide emergency food boxes to approximately 17,000 South King and Pierce Counties families.

Children hold fruit they received at a local food bank.

Photo courtesy: Northwest Harvest

The Employees Community Fund of Boeing is an employee-managed nonprofit made up of ECF Chapters across the enterprise, that has donated $1 billion dollars since it was founded in 1948.

“The history of ECF is remarkable as is the passion of this organization,” said Rim Benoud-Schmitz, senior manager, Engineering Test & Technology and president of the Puget Sound chapter. “Our donors look to us to use donations wisely. Seeing great need in our community, we knew it was our duty to do something and to do it quickly.”

ECF chapters at other Boeing locations are taking action as well, with special grants newly announced in South Carolina and Missouri.

By Jo Wingbermuehle