Food bank feeds community needs

By Jager Dzurcanin - Staff Reporter

The Des Moines Area Food Bank will be hosting a Thanksgiving service where families are given a basket of seasonal food with which to make a Thanksgiving dinner at home.

This service will be occurring in the days leading up to Thanksgiving, Nov. 19 - 21.

Anybody, including High- line students or faculty with an ID, can partake in the to "make sure people have food for a Thanksgiving dinner in their own homes," Executive Director Kris Van Gasken said.

She went on to explain that this time of year marks an in- crease in family expenditures, as kids go back to school and need supplies, heat and electric bills rise, and holidays encour- age spending on food or pres- ents.

The food bank is open to each visitor once a month, but people will not be turned away from the Thanksgiving service if they had used the food bank within the month.

"We don't do regular service that week, but we get a lot of people, and a lot of people that come back," Van Gasken said, referring to visitors who used the normal service that month.

The Thanksgiving event re- places the regular services the food bank provides for that week.

The attendance of their Thanksgiving service, as well as their Christmas service, is gen- erally much higher than a nor- mal day of operation.

"Some people get here at 5" in the morning, Van Gasken said. "We're open at 9."

The food bank offers many other programs and services as well, including the Summer Meals Program and the Back- pack Program.

The Summer Meals Program entails food bank volunteers go- ing out into the community to make meals for kids at places such as libraries, schools, and parks.

"In the summer, every week- day morning we're making sandwiches for kids, and the food bank is still going on too," Van Gasken said.

Last year, the Summer Meals Thanks- giving service.

The Thanksgiving basket will include items such as tur- key or ham, stuffing, canned and fresh fruits and vegetables, bread, and desserts.

This service is put on by the Des Moines Food Bank to Program served 26 different sites, and provided more than 47,000 individual meals.

The Backpack Program sends elementary school stu- dents home over the weekend with a backpack full of fresh food and single serving dinners, to ensure that children in the community do not experience food insecurity.

"Everybody feels that no- body should go without food," Van Gasken said, explaining the reasoning behind the Back- pack Program.

The general services of the food bank still remain its most effective method of preventing food insecurity and serving the most people within the com- munity, she said.

The food bank has crates of produce and boxed foods stacked to the ceiling, and near- ly a dozen refrigerators lining its walls, all of which are avail- abletoitsvisitors.

Van Gasken said that the Des Moines Food Bank has "part- nerships with grocery stores, the airport, Northwest Harvest, and church groups and local businesses."

Students or faculty with a Highline ID are welcome to use the Des Moines Area Food Banks regular services for free, which provides clients with one to two weeks' worth of food.

The Des Moines Food Bank also supports the Communi- ty pantry at Highline, which provides free and healthy food to students on a day-to- day basis.

"We don't want people who have school and are working to miss out just because they can't

get to a food bank," Van Gasken said, in reference to busy High- line students and staff.

The Des Moines Food Bank is located in the lower level of the Des Moines United Meth- odist Church at 22225 9th Ave S, Des Moines.

Their normal hours of opera- tion are 9 - 11:45 a.m., on Mon- days, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

Anybody interested in vol- unteering can simply arrive during their hours of operation, and the same goes for people looking to make food or cash donations.


Food banks work year-round to make sure people in the community have enough food to eat.

Food bank feeds community needs

The Des Moines Area Food Bank will be hosting a Thanksgiving service where fam...

Social Media has pros and cons, students say

Highline students said that while social media is time consuming and addictive...

Vet. Services hopes for more space, resources

Most students wouldn't know it by the campus website or even signs around camp...

Construction still claiming parking spots

Traffic has gotten worse in Highline park- ing lots, specifically the North an...

Have coffee with a cop next week

Public Safety hopes having a cup of joe with a police officer will help you se...

Club's fundraising helps former student

After months of struggling with a rare eye condition, former student and Psych...

Men's soccer falls to Whatcom 2-0 in semifinals

Highline's men's soccer team ended their season as the third ranked team in th...

Men's wrestling takedown Big Bend

The Highline men's wrestling team continued its dominant per- formance in thei...

Lady T-Birds ride strong finish into volleyball playoffs

The Lady T-Birds Volleyball team will play its first playoff game today agains...

Club Fair next Tuesday

If you want to join a club at Highline but have questions, visit the Club Fair next Tuesday. The fair will take place in the Mt. Constance room in Building 8. The fair will occur from 11 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Jan. 23, and will have representatives from many of the clubs on campus.

Help with Transfer Portfolio

Students who are planning on transferring to a four-year school but need help with their personal statement essay can attend a seminar on Thursday, Feb. 1. The event will take place in the MESA Center in Building 25 from 12:15-1:15 p.m. Students who want their portfolios reviewed by a representative from surrounding colleges will have that opportunity on Thursday, Feb. 8. The event will take place in the Mt. Constance room from 1:30-4 p.m. Students must register by Jan. 25. You can register in Building 6 in the Transfer Center, or online at

Women's Programs giving tree brings gifts to children

The annual Women’s Program Giving Tree raised enough contributions to help 27 families, which helped give gifts to 70 children. The Women Program and WorkFirst Services Office sponsored the event in December.

Academic Success Centers open house

The Academic Success Centers is holding an open house today from 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on floor 6 of the Library. Students will be able to inquire about AANAPISI, the Math Resource Center, MESA, Puente, the Tutoring Center, Umoja, and the Writing Center. The Academic Success Centers offers help on assignments, and has tutoring services.

Mental illness should not be a scapegoat for violence

Take a break from social media

'Pokemon', 'Battlefield' reach new levels

T-Birds come up short in semifinals

Veterans Service here to assist veterans

The Brice is right: Highline professor wins award

Veterans' Services deserves better

Dancers mix it up with PNB's 'All Premiere'

Men's soccer falls to Whatcom 2-0 in semifinals

Construction still claiming parking spots

Transit station could mean more local development

Faith and intellect can add up

Queer Love art competition accepting submissions

Men's wrestling takedown Big Bend

Have coffee with a cop next week

Day celebrates indigenous people

The man who changed the war

Three dances become one at PNB's latest show

Lady T-Birds ride strong finish into volleyball playoffs

Club's fundraising helps former student