Volunteers Needed to Build Yelm Community Garden

Bounty for Families is seeking 6-8 volunteers to complete the construction of the Yelm Community Garden at Yelm City Park. We’re very excited about this project, which will serve as a gathering place for children in the Yelm Farmers Market Power of Produce Kids Club, a hub for adult classes on gardening and cooking with produce and a year-round addition to events like Jazz in the Park, Prairie Days and the Nisqually Barbecue Rally. Half of the garden beds are already built. This 2-day work party is for the purpose of building the other half.

When: Friday, February 19th and Saturday, February 20th from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m

Where: Yelm City Park. Meet at the front entrance to Yelm Community Center

What to Bring: Gloves, rain gear, mask and water. Lunch will be supplied

What We’ll be Doing: Assembling garden beds, moving soil, constructing trellises

Contact: Please r.s.v.p. to Heidi Smith at 360.464.8706 if you would like to help. Thank you!

Gift of Gobble Feeds 150 Families in 2020

Another year, another successful Gift of Gobble event. On Monday, November 23rd Bounty for Families volunteers gathered to package and distribute 150 Thanksgiving meals to families from Yelm Community Schools, JBLM, Rainier Community Schools, and nine local churches.

Thanks to many local businesses who supported us in breaking all fundraising records this year, including: First Finishers, the Crowe Law Office, Blue Waters Acupuncture Center, Re/MAX, Windermere, the Klein Family Foundation,  Yelm Family Medicine, JZK Inc., The Showroom, C&E Developments, 507 Taproom & Filling Station, Pizzeria La Gitana, which donated pizzas to our hard-working crew and the Yelm Food Co-op which handles all the logistics on food ordering.

Many individuals also donated to make this the biggest year yet. We appreciate you!

Donate to Gift of Gobble to Feed Families this Thanksgiving

It’s been quite a year and demand for annual Gift of Gobble Thanksgiving meals is higher than ever.  Therefore, this year we are adding 50 more meals than usual and need to raise a total of $9,000.  If you’re able to contribute and would like to make a difference, $60 feeds a family of six with a Thanksgiving turkey, potatoes, carrots, stuffing, pumpkin pie mix and all the trimmings to take home and prepare their own feasts.

As always, meals go to military families at JBLM, Rainier Community Schools, nine local churches and this year, 20 will go to families from Yelm Community Schools. Thank you for your support!

Click on the link below to donate now.

Gift of Gobble Donation

3,860 Food Boxes Later, BFF Wraps Up Organic Produce Program

On September 16th, Bounty for Families wrapped up its weekly distribution of locally-sourced organic produce in Yelm and Rainier through the Farmers to Families Food Boxes program. Over a ten-week period, BFF volunteers handed out 3,680 boxes to families, individuals, and groups like senior centers, rehabilitation facilities, domestic violence shelters and several churches.

“We started with just 160 boxes per week, but demand kept increasing,” says BFF Board Secretary Heidi Smith. “Every time we asked Hugh for more produce, he made it happen.” Hugh Jones is the founder and President of Evergreen United Food Hub, a Shelton-based organization that gathered the produce from local organic farmers, packaged it, and then delivered it to nonprofits like Bounty for Families throughout the Puget Sound region so it could be distributed to help those struggling with the economic impacts of COVID-19.

In normal years, Evergreen United serves Seattle and Tacoma area restaurants but in 2020, those markets were no longer viable. Jones, with help from the Thurston Economic Development Council’s Procurement Technical Assistance Center (PTAC) won a contract with the U.S.  Department of Agriculture Farmers to Families Food Boxes program, which enabled him to pay farmers and connect with local nonprofits.

When the opportunity arose, BFF had just five days to put a plan together because another nonprofit had canceled their order. Smith contacted Sandi Hanson, coordinator of the Rotary Club of Yelm’s 10 Weeks of Summer program which was already distributing free boxes and bags of food each week for families of students who are enrolled in the free and reduced lunch program through Yelm Community Schools. “The fact that Yelm Rotary said yes made this possible,” says Smith. “To organize the logistics for this program without their support would have been really challenging at such short notice.

The next step was recruiting volunteers, a process Smith found to be surprisingly simple. “People were eager to help,” she says. “The feedback I got was that this was a welcome interruption to being stuck at home for so long with little outside interaction. We had a real range in ages, including teenagers and several children who came along with their parents.”

Following the Rotary Club of Yelm’s model, volunteers distributed at four locations: the Clearwood Community Association’s main gate, Nisqually Pines administrative office, Rainier School District’s administrative office, and Yelm City Park.  As word spread, more people continued to show up looking for fresh greens. “We had people tell us about the smoothies they were making with the beets and how much their grandchildren were enjoying the produce,” says Smith. “It was great to hear the stories of what people were doing with it each week.”

The program is finished for this year but the connections it created will continue, according to Smith. “We’ve had all kinds of community groups and individuals contact us about working together,” she says. “There’s a lot of focus on collaboration and making sure everyone is taken care of, and those conversations will go on.”


Food Boxes for Families Program Continues Through End of August

Bounty for Families will continue distributing boxes of fresh, locally-sourced organic produce every Tuesday as part of the U.S.D.A.’s Farmers to Families Food Boxes program. We’re working with the Rotary Club of Yelm in conjunction with their 10 Weeks of Summer Program and will be four distribution points every Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. until noon: historic school at Rainier (on Center St.), Clearwood main gate, Nisqually Pines administrative offices and Yelm City Park. Big thanks to Hugh Jones of Evergreen United Food Hub for driving all the delicious food out to us from Shelton every week and to our awesome volunteers for making it happen. Spread the word!

Food Boxes for Families Program Continues this Tuesday

For the third week in a row, Bounty for Families will be distributing boxes of free, organic, locally sourced produce at four locations throughout the Yelm area on Tuesday, July 28th from 10:00 a.m to 12:00 p.m. The Yelm Rotary Club has generously allowed us to join them at their 10 Weeks of Summer program sites: Clearwood main gate, Nisqually Pines main office parking lot, Yelm City Park and the historic school building (next to the high school) in Rainier.

Please note: the Rotary Club’s program is specifically for families with children who qualify for free and reduced lunch at local schools. The Food Boxes for Families produce is available for anyone who needs it on a first come/first serve basis, including adults without children and senior citizens. We are happy to hand out produce and also want to make sure that the Rotary boxes get to the children they’re meant to help, so please bear that distinction in mind when you come to see us.

Thanks to the volunteers who are making this work and to Hugh Jones of the Evergreen United Food Hub for making the drive with his truck of delicious greens every week.

Bounty for Families Selected for Free Farmers to Families Food Box Program

We’re happy to annouce that Bounty for Families is one of multiple organizations throughout the Puget Sound region chosen to receive free boxes of organic produce for distribution to anyone who needs them every week from July 14th through August 25th. Through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmers to Families Food Box Program, the Evergreen United Food Hub will be delivering 140 boxes to Yelm every week, which we’ll then distribute through a collaboration with the Yelm Rotary Club’s existing 10 Weeks of Summer Lunch program. We’re currently looking for volunteers to help distribute the food boxes on Tuesday mornings starting on July 14th between 9:30 and 12:00.  Please contact Heidi Smith at 360.464.8706 if you are interested in volunteering.