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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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News >  Spokane

Food Bank Stocks Up With $5,000 Gift Grant, Arranged By Banker Who Died In January, Enables Charity To ‘Shop For What We Needed’

FROM FOR THE RECORD (Thursday, February 6, 1997): Correction A substantial portion of the large families served by the Spokane Food Bank are immigrants, but those immigrants represent only a small percentage of all food bank users. A story in Wednesday’s paper about a large food donation received Tuesday incorrectly described the portion of food distributed to immigrant families.

Volunteers at the Spokane Food Bank unloaded more than 7,000 pounds of beef stew, peaches and pasta on Thursday purchased with a gift from a local bank.

The food will go to 19 Spokane County organizations, mostly churches, which provide emergency supplies to families who find themselves without food.

The Washington Trust Foundation paid the $5,000 bill for the food with a donation arranged by the late Rick Scammell, vice president of the bank.

Scammell, 47, discussed the donation with food bank representatives in December. He died in January, two weeks after he was diagnosed with cancer.

“But I opened an envelope in January and there was a check and letter from the bank with a promise to follow through” on other commitments, said Ann Price, a food bank manager.

The food bank is one of the few charities to receive ongoing support from the foundation, said Lea Werner, senior vice president.

“We’ve been doing this for years and that will continue,” she said.

Much of the food handed out in emergency situations is donated during a variety of food drives throughout the year.

While Spokane residents are generous, Price said, family-size items and food containing protein are always lacking.

“With this money, we got to shop for what we needed,” she said.

Large families usually have to take two or three food baskets to get through a crisis, she said. Immigrant families new to Spokane make up a substantial number of the people who need help putting enough food on the table, Price said.

The Washington Trust Foundation and the bank itself donate about $500,000 to charitable causes every year, Werner said.

Several bank officers were on hand Tuesday to see the shipment arrive.

“A lot of times we never get to see the results of our donations,” Werner said. “It’s nice to take that extra step, to see a true end result right away.”

, DataTimes ILLUSTRATION: Color photo

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