Food banks serve as a vital distributor of food, but getting the freshest produce is a challenge. Father Jim Eichner started Food Bank Farm to address this challenge and has a goal to donate a million pounds of produce by 2021. Jim, himself a volunteer, attracts 1,500 additional volunteers each year including corporate volunteers, seniors, and kids, and everyone in between. Tasks are divided up among volunteer groups. Some may plant squash seeds, another group cares for them throughout the growing season, and another group harvests them. Jim always says to his volunteers, “Not only will you be helping feed those in need, but you will also be feeding your own soul in the process.” Our former Lawns to Lettuce Program Coordinator, Cameron Coronado said, “Jim has dedicated his life to helping those in need. SCD is committed to serving residents of Snohomish County. This partnership will only continue to bring positive change to Snohomish County.”
Stephanie has been a volunteer at SCD’s plant sale for the past 8 years and can be counted on to be there from open to close every year, without fail. She can identify the various native plants and their uses for our clients, and uses them in her own yard. “Stephanie is a saint,” says SCD staff member Julie Allen. In her work life, Stephanie is a para-educator in the Mukilteo school district. She consistently spends her own time coming up with project ideas for the classroom to help her students learn and conquer new skills.
Nomination Highlight Video
Dr. Jim initially volunteered to help out at the Bethlehem Lutheran Church planting near Marysville. He then became a backyard Habitat Steward and has volunteered many days at the Conservation District Native Plant Sale. He is continually engaged with the District and regularly gives updates to us on what he is doing in his community. Dr. Jim is dedicated to conservation and to working with us to achieve it. We’re so grateful for his enthusiasm, dedication, and willingness to donate his time.