Bartell Drugs has launched its annual food drive and will be collecting non-perishable food donations through June 12. Stores around the region, including the Sammamish , are participating.
The two-week long drive supports Northwest Harvest food banks and is meant to feed children and their families during the summer months. Many families depend on free and reduced breakfasts and lunches during the school year, making summer all the more challenging.
"Year-round hunger is an unfortunate reality for many children and their families. Through the generous contributions by our customers, we're proud to support Northwest Harvest with this effort," George D. Bartell, Bartell's chairman and chief executive, said in a statement.
Shelley Rotondo, executive director of Northwest Harvest, said 450,000 children in Washington were eligible for free or reduced-price breakfast and lunch in 2010. Of those students, only 9 percent took advantage of meals during the summertime, which Rotondo attributes to lack of transportation or access to meal sites.
"This really highlights the need for a summer food drive that benefits children," Rotondo said.
Bartell Drugs regularly works with Northwest Harvest. During the holidays, the drug store chain holds another special food drive.
Editor's note: Heidi Dietrich is editor of Edmonds Patch.