Photography by Auriza Ugalino
Walk for Rice has raised money benefiting ACRS’ food bank and nutrition programs to provide nearly 1 million pounds of food annually. The ACRS Food Bank in Seattle’s Chinatown-International District is the only food bank in the state to regularly provide foods catered to Asian American and Pacific Islander diets, including healthy and nutritional staples like rice, tofu, soy milk, noodles, canned proteins and produce. The location also serves as a gateway for clients to learn more about many other programs and services ACRS provides, which has helped many people and their families. Some clients and volunteers share their stories how the food bank impacts their lives.
Jin Zhou Wu: I have been visiting the ACRS Food Bank for more than eight years. The food that I receive from the food bank, especially the rice, supports my household’s nutrition needs. A bowl of warm rice is always important for Asian Americans, and the ACRS Food Bank always provides good quality of rice for us. The food bank location works best for me and my wife, who is disabled. Recently, my wife’s phone broke, and staff on site helped us with lifeline cell phone application services as well. We could not ask for more. Thank you, ACRS Food Bank!
Xiao Ling Chen and Ying Mui: We both are more than 75 years old and have walking disabilities. The ACRS Food Bank location benefits us because we don’t have to walk up and down to different stores to gather cooking ingredients, such as rice, bok choy, and tomatoes. Nowadays, food is quite expensive in stores, and we can’t even finish them all if we purchase a whole pack. The rice and produce distributed by the ACRS Food Bank are just the right amounts for us. We like to cook by ourselves because it is healthier and cheaper, and no one knows what we like to eat better than ourselves.
Sai Luk Cheung: Although I live in Renton, I enjoy very much volunteering at the ACRS Food Bank. This has already become my weekly routine. I have been volunteering at this food bank for almost three years, and it is always nice to serve our AAPI communities. I am almost 70; however, I think I still have the energy to support the food bank operation. I hope I can keep on working at the ACRS Food Bank, to provide bags of rice, vegetables and dairy to every person in line.
Qing Qian: I have witnessed the changes of our city: the increase of population and the rapid development. The cost of living in Seattle is rising continuously, and presently, I have to spend most of my monthly income on food, transportation, and medical needs. Regardless of what has changed, I am still really thankful for what the community provides. I am fortunate than a lot of people and I have a place to call home, where I can prepare hot meals. Also, thank you ACRS Food Bank for providing fresh produce, tofu and rice, and allowing me to prepare the food I love to eat.
Sung Hoang: I do not speak very good English, and it is always hard for me to explain what my needs are to people. I appreciated ACRS staff, who helped me look for minor home repair services last year. It’s very important for me to have a safe and secure home. I do not use the food bank every week, as I know there are more people out there that need food assistance than myself. I hope the ACRS Food Bank can keep on going and provide quality services to people.