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Baker Boyer Contributes $42,000 to Support Increased Need of Food Programs

In response to the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on the demand for food support and safety for many families and individuals, Baker Boyer has committed to donating $42,000 to selected programs in Walla Walla, Milton- Freewater, Tri-Cities, and Yakima. Starting with $12,000 to support local restaurants feed frontline healthcare workers and first responders, many of the donations focus on the growing issue of food insecurity, particularly amongst those who have recently joined the ranks of the unemployed, furloughed, or forced to reduce hours or pay. It also includes a donation to support the growing needs for the Walla Walla YWCA’s safe shelter for women and families facing domestic violence.

“With our Meals program, we wanted to express our gratitude to the men and women who have been on the front lines tirelessly responding during the coronavirus pandemic,” said Mark Kajita, president and CEO of Baker Boyer. “Now, we’re broadening our focus to address the critical needs of food insecurity and domestic violence which have increased during this difficult time. We hope this helps make our communities stronger.”

Here is a summary of the donations, followed by more detailed information about each organization or program:

  • Baker Boyer’s First Responder Meal Program (Yakima, Tri-Cities, Milton-Freewater, Walla Walla) — $12,000
  • Yakima Downtown Rotary Food Bank Program (Yakima) — $7,500
  • Second Harvest (Tri-Cities) — $5,000
  • Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation, “DINE IN” program (Tri-Cities) — $2,500
  • Meals on Wheels, Senior Center (Walla Walla) — $5,000
  • Home Delivered Meals Program, CAPECO (Milton-Freewater) — $5,000
  • Walla Walla YWCA (Walla Walla) — $5,000

Meal Program for First Responders and Frontline Healthcare Workers. Over several weeks in April and May, Baker Boyer funded $1000 each to 12 local businesses in the communities we serve—each Baker Boyer clients—to supply meals to say “thank you” to first responders and frontline healthcare workers.

As part of their commitment to maintaining a balanced concerted effort for the betterment of the communities in Yakima and around the world, the Yakima Downtown Rotary is actively fundraising to support eight separate area food banks.

In Tri-Cities, Second Harvest's emergency response team is working hard to implement policies and take actions that will keep our community safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. They have created or supported specific programs such as the Hanford Feeding Families Fundraiser, Red Nose Day, and Spokane Food Fighters.

The donation to the Tri-Cities Cancer Center Foundation will support the “DINE IN” program which has provided meals to more than 300 patients and their families every Friday. Not only does this program ease the minds of families going through an extra tough time by providing a nice meal for them, but it also supports local restaurants who supply the meals each week.

As detailed in a May 18 article in the Union-Bulletin, Walla Walla Meals on Wheels reports an increased demand for meals, now up to about 1,500 per month. Milton- Freewater Home Delivered Meals program has also seen an increase in seniors seeking meal support. In addition, a big part of the meals program is socializing and a casual wellness check on those at home. Our donations will help support the increased need for food, as well as addressing the challenges created by social distancing and sheltering in place.

Walla Walla YWCA offers shelter to women and children escaping domestic violence. They will use our funds to support the costs of operating shelter in this time of COVID-19. This includes increased sanitation and janitorial costs, PPE for clients and staff, and any special needs their clients may have.

Each year, Baker Boyer contributes nearly $200,000 in donations and sponsorships to support local nonprofit and community organizations and programs.