All posts by Blaine Wheeler

Calling all “Phase 2” Volunteers

Since Quarantine began, the Thurston County Food Bank has continued to serve our community. As a valuable resource, we not only distribute food items, but we also distribute household and hygiene items during the Other Bank distribution on the second Wednesday of each month. The need for this resource has only grown. We’ve also decentralized our distribution model – meaning we have added “Pop-up” sites across Thurston County to better offer this resource to the community while honoring each individual’s safety and quarantine needs. During Phase 1 and the initial Quarantine time, we met so many wonderful community members who came to volunteer. This includes workers who found themselves now home, students, and the National Guard.

With the start of Phase 2, many of our Phase 1 volunteers have returned to their workplace. This is also true for our National Guard who have moved on to other assignments. This has left us light-handed with volunteers. We continue to serve the community out of the Downtown Client Service Center, thought partners and the community Pop-Ups.

We need Phase 2 help.

If you are interested in lending a hand as our world begins to reintegrate, we would love to talk with you! We need people who are able to help us pack food, move boxes, and help distribute to our community!! Would you please consider volunteering time supporting this community resource?

Please email Allison for more information on all the opportunities:

Thurston County Media Interviews Us

On May 12 Thurston County Media interviewed Development Director Judy Jones about changes the Food Bank has made for our volunteers, distribution sites and other ways we keep services going for our customers during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Follow this link to the 13 minute interview at Thurston County Media. (opens in a new window)

If you want to volunteer, donate or have questions phone us at 360.352.8597 and press ‘0’ (zero).

Thank you, our community, for your donations of goods, time and money.

What do volunteers do at TCFB?

We very literally could not do the work we do without the assistance of our volunteers. Some of the roles volunteers take on at the Food Bank include:

  • Van drivers pick up food from food drives in the community and make deliveries to schools and community organizations.
  • Co-pilots assist our drivers with their daily routes.
  • Baggers put together the pre-packaged bags of groceries at the WDC that go out to our satellite locations or to elementary students around the county.
  • Administrative volunteers check in clients that come for service, do critical data entry, and support us with phone reception at the food pantries and warehouse.
  • Service floor volunteers assist clients as they make their way through our Olympia and Lacey Food Pantries.
  • Kitchen volunteers take items purchased or donated in bulk (like dried beans, oatmeal, or foods rescued from restaurants) and repackage them into family size or individual portions at Olympia’s Food Pantry.
  • Warehouse Volunteers run the back-end of lifting, loading, and organizing to get food on the shelves for clients at both our food pantries and warehouse.
  • School Garden Volunteers teach nutrition classes alongside staff, bring students into their school’s garden during recess, and/or get their hands dirty in the garden helping plants grow for the fall.
  • Gleaning Volunteers harvest or collect fresh fruit and vegetables from local farms to bring to the Food Bank.
  • Summer Lunch Volunteers work in the kitchen at the Olympia’s Food Pantry preparing meals for low-income children throughout the county.
  • SuperSort Volunteers help go through thousands of pounds of mixed food donation boxes at the WDC, checking for quality and sorting them into categories that are easier to hand out to clients.

For more information about volunteer opportunities, visit our volunteer page or