Maple Valley Food Bank 'Hats off to our volunteers' awards ceremony and banquet | Slide Show

The Maple Valley Food Bank and Emergency Services honored its community of support at the annual volunteer awards ceremony and banquet March 6 at the Lake Wilderness Lodge. The theme was "Hats off to our volunteers."

The event was attended by 134 volunteers and guests and was planned by the  food bank Board of Directors and staff.

"This is one of our favorite activities to plan," Victoria Laise Jonas said, president of the board and Maple Valley deputy mayor. "Although our food bank's vision is simple - 'Building a healthy community free of hunger because no one deserves to be hungry', making this vision a reality is a great undertaking that grows larger every single day.   Life is not always easy for any of us and yet, our volunteers show up like clockwork and make their commitment to be part of our food bank family a priority in their personal life.  The entire operations of our food bank is dependent upon our community volunteers, as we simply could not do what we do without them.  So, once a year, we all come to together to celebrate our volunteer's dedication and passion for helping those less fortunate who live in our community and are in need of our many services.   With amazingly caring volunteers coupled with living in a very giving community, we are all able to address the unprecedented economic challenges collectively together."

At the event, the following volunteers were recognized for their years of service with the food bank.

• Five years of service: Shirley Mattioda, Mike Kanaga, Peggy Kanaga, Samantha Metcalf, Troy Metcalf, Yvonne Janssen, David Pennington, Tammy Stock, Colleen Corey, Dotty Hoffman-Barr, John Hansen, Kayla Hansen, Cory Sjoberg, Kris Sjoberg, and Mark Sjoberg.  Ten years of service included: Janet Loe, Pat Ashley, and Soon Belsha. And volunteers with over ten years of service included: Karen Timm, Kim Darwin, Bobbi and Jerry Sayers, Marilyn and Bruce Amer, Linda Holechek, Arlene Powell, Dana Grimm, Brenda Habenicht, and Victoria and Scott Jonas.

The Key Club from Tahoma High  School volunteered to wait on tables and help with the food service. The  Tahoma High School Jazz Band performed a melody of jazzy tunes, under the direction of Matt Cole.  Local business owner Eric Elmer (E. J. Catering) prepared the dinner.  There were several door prizes presented to the volunteers, which were made possible by the generous donations from the following local businesses: Johnson's Do It Center, Java Java Coffee Company, city of Maple Valley, A Sunsational Tan and Day Spa, Skin Deep Esthetics, Isabella Grace Winery, and the Mariners Baseball Team.

The food bank volunteers collectively logged in over 15,000 hours last year.  They distributed over 880,000 pounds of food. Each week volunteers come together to fill over 80 shifts to help with food distribution, sorting, prepping and gathering food items from local grocery stores and helping with donations. Many of our volunteers help with our Utility and Rent Assistance Programs offered at the Food Bank.  In addition, some volunteers use they skills and talents to maintain the grounds and upkeep of the building.  Throughout the celebratory volunteer event, a common anthem ran true:  "Many hands coming together can truly make a difference!"


Victoria Laise Jonas

Food Bank board president and

Deputy mayor

Maple Valley





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