Sometimes the most difficult part of solving a problem is simply asking for help.
Bright and early Monday morning Markay Feldhusen was asked the question, and she wasted no time in filling a need.
Coast Property Management’s community manager at Riverwalk I and II, an affordable housing complex on East Upriver Drive owned and operated by SNAP, Feldhusen had just arrived at her office when she got a phone call. Katie Stone, the principal at Cooper Elementary School, was in search of a way to get breakfast and lunch to her displaced students.
Could the school use Riverwalk as a place to distribute meals?
“I said yes – what do you need?” Feldhusen said. “Sometimes all the community needs is for someone to say yes.”
The call came in just after 9 a.m., she explained. By 11 a.m. school officials were on site with food after the school sent text messages announcing the complex as a new pickup site.
“We set up the distribution location at the property sign. That way the children from the complex next door (Beau Rivage) could come over as well. The first 47 children were served. There were a lot of smiles.”
Amber Johnson, the director of Mission Support at SNAP, said the Riverwalk complexes have a history of helping out when it comes to feeding children.
“We’ve done summer school lunch programs there in the past,” she said. “Markay was there when we were doing that and she really understands SNAP’s values. We’re happy to help out.”
Johnson said more than 75 school-age children live at the two Riverwalk properties and the Beau Rivage complex, which is not owned by SNAP and has more than 250 units.
Cooper Elementary is more than a mile away from the complex, making it difficult for youngsters to go to the school for meals.
After Monday night’s shelter-in-place order from Gov. Jay Inslee, bringing food to where children live became even more imperative citywide.
Johnson said SNAP is constantly looking for ways to help out the community, especially in the midst of the COVID-19 outbreak. As an essential services provider, it will remain open under the state’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” shelter-in-place order.
“At SNAP, we are accustomed to filling in for community needs,” Johnson said.
“The COVID-19 outbreak is another instance that reveals our ability to innovate and fill in for need vacuums that may arise in our community.”
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