Operation Harvest adds 17 thousand pounds of food for local food banks

    Operation Harvest adds 17 thousand pounds of food for local food banks

    YAKIMA, Wash.- For 36 years Yakima rotary's goal has always been to address the problem of hunger in our community.

    36 years, thousands of pounds of food, and hundreds of thousands of local families that have gone another day without being hungry.

    The fundraiser is supported by hundreds of volunteers from Rotary members, families, students from Interact clubs at local high schools and even some boy scouts groups.

    Some drove out to dozens of neighborhoods picking up can goods. Action News followed a team out and within 30 minutes we spotted countless bags and the car quickly piled up.

    Long time volunteer Douglas Carpon says seeing the amount of families that are impacted by this event is why he does it, and will continue doing it until he can't anymore.

    "We've gone from 300 families a week to 400, 500, now it's often 600 families every week. Our valley and this city really does benefit from food banks," said Carpon.

    While other volunteers like Eisenhower student Kyler Nelson help out at the Salvation Army sorting the truck loads of food. He's seen the impact it made when volunteering for the first time last year, and ever since he's wanting to continue making a difference.

    "It's for people who don't have a chance to help themselves, so if you have a chance to him them elevate themselves, why would you not?," said Nelson.

    Organizers say this fundraiser helps keep up with the demand of supplying food to the nine local food banks:

    Salvation Army, Union Gospel Mission, Yakima Rotary Food Bank, St. Vincent de Paul, The Vineyard, St. Michaels, Selah Food Bank, 7th Day Adventists, and OIC Food Bank.

    "As a community I think we forget that one person can be the difference and so we kind of keep to ourselves but when we get together and do stuff like this, we realize the impact really is massive," said Operation Harvest Volunteer Ashley Vanbeek.

    If you have non-perishable food that you will like to donate you can drop it off at any of the local food banks here in Yakima.

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