After two hours of standing along Summitview Avenue to raise money for Northwest Harvest's 18 local food banks, we're finally starting to feel our toes again. OK, OK -- maybe it wasn't THAT cold, but still.

The good news is that a number of Yakima folks stopped by to cheer us on during today's 7-9 a.m. fundraiser, have some hot coffee and maybe a Viera's Bakery doughnut, and their donations were much appreciated. Several folks even slipped in $100 bills!

But the donation Andrew Morford dropped off from Green Acre Farms topped 'em all: $2,000! And he told us that employees plan to contribute some individual donations on top that.


We were shooting for $1,000, because Coastal Farm and Ranch offered to match that amount with a donation of their own if we made it. With the donations that came in, plus Coastal's match, today's total stands at $3,699, according to Sheri Bissell, Northwest Harvest's Yakima community engagement manager. That's enough for about 16,500 meals, she adds.

The money raised stays right here in the Yakima Valley, where the need is great -- year 'round.

Northwest Harvest, which handed out 8.5 million pounds of free food to needy folks around the Yakima area, figures one in 10 local adults and one in six children are "food insecure." But a donation of $20 can feed one child for a month, and $100 buys 500 good meals for area kids, seniors, families and veterans.

Our drive wrapped up when we came in to get warm, but you've still got time to help out, if you'd like. Just visit and look for the "donate" button.

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