Thurston County Eco-Lions: Food Recovery Team on hold, but finding other ways to serve

By Marilyn Sitaker, MPH, Ecological Agriculture and Food Systems, The Evergreen State College

Thurston County Eco-Lions, a branch club of Lacey Midday Lions, has been helping the Thurston County Food Bank repackage prepared foods donated by area schools, casinos, delis and coffee shops. By doing this, we are making sure that edible foods stay out of landfills—where they generate greenhouse gases—and instead go to feed hungry people in our community.

Over the past year we’ve had lots of fun working together, and meeting new friends who have volunteered through TCAT. But starting March 2020, Thurston County Food Bank advised us to cancel our service nights, to minimize chances of infection and spread of COVID-19 among our members who are mostly over age 60.

Still we are finding ways to be of assistance, and I hope you will consider these ideas as well.

Thurston County Food Bank is experiencing unprecedented demand for food. They’ve made some awesome adaptations to meet demand while still observing COVID-19 safety protocols, offering curbside pickup of Emergency Food Bags. These pre-packed bags contain shelf-stable items like peanut butter, canned soups, beans and rice.

Still, the Food Bank’s resources are stretched thin right now, and they are in need of both (younger) volunteers, and donations of food or cash.

You can easily volunteer for one or more activity by visiting their website here:

Additionally, you may also wish to make a donation to Senior Services for the South Sound, who continue to provide Meals on Wheels services to older folks who are unable to get to the grocery store during this time. You can find their donations page here:

Photo: Thurston County Eco Lions, 2019

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