Community

Hunger's no game: Machinists Union holds spring food drive

Machinists Union District Lodge 751 is conducting a food drive in April to benefit the Puget Sound Labor Agency's efforts to help feed unemployed workers and their families.

People can donate cash or non-perishable food at any union hall operated by District 751 in Puget Sound, including the Auburn Hall at 201 A St. SW.

All the food and money collected will go to benefit the Puget Sound Labor Agency food bank, which provides food to unemployed workers in the region.

Hunger in Washington is on the rise. One recent report found the number of families living in hunger in statewide has doubled since the start of the recession.

"The need is really great this time of year," said Grace Holland, who leads the union's Women's Committee. "Donations to food banks drop off as summer starts, but at the same time, the demand is higher, because children who had been receiving free meals at school no longer get them because they're home for the summer."

District 751's Women's Committee spearheads the drive. Committee members say they're particularly in need of canned food, whole-wheat pasta, oatmeal, baby food and baby formula.

During the annual April food drive, every dollar or every pound of food donated will be matched by a contribution from the Feinstein Foundation, a Rhode Island-based non-profit that's dedicated to wiping out hunger. Last year, District 751 collected more than $1,800 and 400 pounds of food, which was matched by the foundation.

About District 751

Originally formed in 1935 to represent hourly workers at the Boeing Co., District Lodge 751 of the International Association of Machinists & Aerospace Workers now represents more than 31,000 working men and women at 45 employers across Washington, Oregon and California. In 2011, members of the Machinists Volunteer Program built their 300th wheelchair ramp while other volunteers collected more than $263,000 for Guide Dogs of America, the union's charity of choice.

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