Valley Stake set to rally for Food 4 Thought

If you peek into the average classroom in Spokane Valley, you may not be able to tell which students are living in a car or going without   food most nights.  A few years back Spokane Valley HEART (Homeless Education and Resource Team), a collaborative program of Central Valley, East Valley and West Valley school districts, conducted research indicating that over 800 students were living in emergency, temporary or transitional housing situations.

Last year’s Food 4 Thought collection day accounted for over 16,000 pounds of donated items. The food is distributed to less fortunate students in local school districts. This year’s drive is scheduled for Sept. 17.

Last year’s Food 4 Thought collection day accounted for over 16,000 pounds of donated items. The food is distributed to less fortunate students in local school districts. This year’s drive is scheduled for Sept. 17.

Pat Dockrey, founder of the Food 4 Thought program, has come to the rescue with the help of the Liberty Lake Kiwanis, the Spokane Valley  Partners Food Bank and several local churches throughout the Spokane Valley and Liberty Lake area.

Every week during the school year, Dockrey and his volunteers assemble food packs – made of items such as canned chili and packaged   oatmeal – that a child could prepare and would eat.

Members from the Spokane Valley Baptist Church, Sullivan Seventh Day Adventist Church, Advent Lutheran Spokane, and the Church of Jesus   Christ of Latter-day Saints help with the delivery of the food at schools in the Central Valley School District and offices in the East Valley School District. Children in disadvantaged circumstances take the food home on the weekend, many times preparing it themselves and often sharing with their families.

In June of 2014, Food 4 Thought was reaching about 185 children per week. Then Sherrie Davies of Liberty Lake approached Dockrey and the   Liberty Lake Kiwanis with the idea of a food drive.

Volunteers went to work and the first annual Food 4 Thought food drive became a reality.  The inaugural event was a great success with   area residents pitching in to donate 8,500 pounds of food.  In 2015, members from nine LDS wards in the Spokane Valley Stake turned out to gather food in September.  Families walked through neighborhoods in Liberty Lake, Otis Orchards, Newman Lake, Greenacres, and Veradale, placing bags on doors one day and picking them up a few days later. Over 16,000 lbs. of food were loaded in two trucks, one parked at the LDS chapel in Liberty Lake and the other at Central Valley High School.

The 2015-16 school year saw the distribution list double as well with 367 students having food to take home for the weekend on a regular   basis.

“We are in almost every school in the Central Valley District,” Dockrey said.  “And we are delivering in bulk to East Valley School   District.  They have their own distribution system.”

The 2016 Food 4 Thought drive is set for Sept. 17.  Watch for a flyer and bag at your door or just go to the store. Cash donations are   also welcome and barrels can be found at Liberty Lake City Hall and other places around town for drop-off donations.

Items needed for Food 4 Thought Drive – Sept. 17

Breakfast:
Oatmeal packets
Granola bars
Cold cereal bowls
Pop-Tarts
Shelf-stable milk

Lunch:
Cup-of-soup
Ramen or soup bowl
Tuna

Dinner:
Macaroni and cheese
Ravioli (canned with meat)
Spaghetti-Os (canned with meat)
Beef stew
Chili with meat

Fruit and Snacks:
Applesauce cups
Peach cups
Mandarin oranges
Canned fruit
Cheese and crackers
Cookies
Fruit roll-ups
Popcorn
Pudding cups

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