Mayor Backus, Auburn Food Bank and Waste Management team up to fight hunger

Did you make an overzealous purchase of pasta when it was on sale and now have no room in your cupboard? Your kids suddenly stop eating the only thing they would eat right after you bought a brand new case of it at Costco? Good news! You can donate it to the Auburn Food Bank without even leaving your house. During the week of September 24th, Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus, Waste Management and the Auburn Food Bank are teaming up fight hunger with a community food drive.

“This is an easy way for Auburn residents to restock the shelves at the food bank,” said Auburn Mayor Nancy Backus. “Just put your donation out with your waste carts the week of September 24, and Waste Management will take care of the rest.”

Based in Auburn, Waste Management is uniquely suited for a donation drive of this level. Waste Management Senior Manager John Chelminiak shared, “[Auburn] is our home. Many of our employees live here, and we believe in giving back. We call it the power of partnership. We have a unique relationship with Auburn because each week we visit your home. Not many other businesses do that. Our drivers get to know their customers and care about them.”

Founded in 1930 as the Community Chest, the Auburn Food Bank is a staple of the community. The agency provides over $2.1 million in services (food and monetary assistance for energy bills) to those in need within the greater Auburn region. auburn food bank, mayor backus, waste management

“Fall is a difficult time of the year for many of our families,” said Auburn Food Bank Director Debbie Christian. “The start of school brings increased expenses, and our clients often need help making ends meet. Using the food bank can help ease the financial pressure on families facing additional back-to-school expenses.”

Here’s how you can participate in the donation drive:

• All non-perishable items are accepted. Things like diapers and toiletries are also accepted. Please, no glass containers.
• Watch for a flyer attached to your garbage container in mid-September. Either attach the flyer to your donation bag or tape a sign to the bag that says, “food drive.”
• When you put your garbage out the week of September 24, also put out your donation bag. Set the donation to the side of the container. Please place your donation out by 7 am on the day of your garbage collection.

Included on the flyer going out to Auburn residents is a list of suggested donation items:

Alcohol and items glass containers (except baby food) cannot be accepted. These items are needed year-round at the food bank. Those wishing to make a monetary donation to the food bank may do so online or in person.

According to Chelminiak, Waste Management is excited. “The drivers enjoy seeing the donations and then notify the route managers. The route managers come by a little later in their pickup truck to gather the donations. We will report to the team each day how many pounds were collected.”

“We have a great track record with this process,” Chelminiak continued, “It works like clockwork. The drivers and route managers take pride in serving the community.”

If you are not a Waste Management customer, you can leave a donation at the Waste Management office in Auburn at 701 Second St. NW between 8 am and 5 pm. Look for the container marked “food bank.”

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