"Perhaps the most deeply integrated and
compassionate expression of our caring for the planet is our recognition of the
plight of beings who are not flourishing. Some of these beings are humans who
suffer environmental oppression from unjust discrimination of the wealthy and
advantaged in society. Some are other species whose simple right to existence is
not recognized by their oppressors. To act boldly, even radically, to raise such
plights to the recognition of our fellows and provide relief to the oppressed is
perhaps the pinnacle of our religious environmental work."
~ Green Sanctuary Program
Long-Term Collaboration: County Food Banks
The Bellngham Food Bank has it's origins within the BUF Community, having been founded
by BUF members. 2008 and 2009, has seen a revitialization of BUF's connection with the Food Bank. While BUF
has had food donations bins for the Food Bank available in the foyer for some time now, members in the congregation
felt the need to strengthen our connection with the Food Bank both as a social justice and an environmental response.
In September 2008, BUF did this by its committment to sponsor a food drive for the Food4Tots program at the Food Bank
(see below). With the economic crisis each of us if facing at this point in time, many others are simply not making
ends meet. The Food Bank is sorely pressed to accomodate the increases due to the economic crisis and is falling
well short of the need for food donations. By instituting a regular donation sunday, BUF can increase
its contributions to the Food Bank and help at least make a small dent in the need of many in our community. Starting
in April 2009, the third Sunday of every month became food donation collection sunday with donations being blessed
during the offertory and then going to the Food Bank. Every October, BUF will be engaged in the Food4Tots
drive with the Kids Feeding Kids Sunday offertory. Thanks to Kay and Norm Witter for their efforts, persistence
and passion and making the food bank donations programs an ongoing program here at BUF!
For more information go to the Bellingham Food Bank website.
Recently, BUF was approached by one of the local Tribal Elders of the Lummi
Nation. The food bank on Lummi reservation is being stretched to their limit because of the huge
demand they are experiencing. This is one of six Whatcom County food banks and is located on Kwina Rd.
It serves all residents living on the reservation and also on Lummi Island. It is said that people
who used to contribute to the food bank are now finding that they are in need and using the services.
BUF has now instituted a regular food bank donation for the Lummi Nation. Every quarter, one month
will be designated as a drive for the Lummi Nation. Lummi donations months are August, November, February
In addition to food donations, the Lummi Food Bank also accepts doantions of shampoo, soaps and other
In September 2008, Kay Witter solicited the assistance of RE, Social
Justice and the Green Sanctuary Program in supporting the local Food4Tots drive by the
Bellngham Food Bank. Since then, BUF has taken on the month of October of each year
to collect a minimum of 1000 units of baby food for the Food4Tots program. This drive
has two components: the month-long drive and the "Kids Feeding Kids Sunday" program.
Annual Food4Tots Food Drive
BUF has joined with the Bellingham Food Bank to address a growing
concern in our community. For an ever increasing percentage of new parents, the joy of
a newborn has beem marred by stress and fear as they find their scant resources are
inadequate to meet their new infant’s essential needs. Each year since 2008, there has been
a substantial increase in the need for food in general, and for infant and toddler food products
in particular. BFB estimates that a minimum of 1,000 units of baby food a month is needed to meet
the local needs of Whatcom's infants and toddlers. Through the Lifelong Learning Program, Social
Justice Committee and the Green Sanctuary Program, it is our goal is to collect 1,000 jars of baby
food throughout the of October. Food4Tots bins are located in the foyer and regular deliveries made to the
Bellingham Food Bank of any donations during the month. Although the jars of food are important, donations
of juices, cereals, etc. are accepted. As well, for those folks who are unable to do the shopping,
financial donations are just as acceptable. Members are reminded, too, there are certain
brands of baby food that are organic and would be an outstanding way to address a social
justice issue as well as an environmental one.
Kids Feeding Kids Sunday
During the Ingathering Service in October, BUF's
children's RE program has an opportunity to add their support to the month-
long Food4Tots program. A food bin is placed in the front of the sanctuary
for our children to bring in baby food as their offering for the service.
Adults were welcome to contribute as well.
BUF's Food4Tots drive totals
- 979 uits baby food
- $627 in monetary donations
- 852 units baby food
- $ in monetary donations
1,077 jars of baby food
plus several boxes of baby cereal, baby cookies/snacks, and a can of formula
- 938 jars of baby food
- 5 boxes of cereal
- 1 container of Similac
- 78 infant/toddler soy drinks
- 42 containers of formula (although, 8 of them had past their expiration
- 2 boxes of baby cracker/cookies
- plus whatever monetary contributions we had (some sent directly to the Food
Bank, and a few to BUF)