Community exceeds expectations in food drive

By Dennis Box-The Courier-Herald

The Bonney Lake Food Bank participated in the Feinstein Challenge for the first time this year and according to Melvain Donyes, food bank director, the results were astounding.

Total food and funds collected from March 1 through April 30 was valued at more than $13,500.

“I am so impressed and grateful,” Donyes said. “It is amazing how people in this community are so generous and respond.”

The Feinstein Challenge was started 10 years ago by Allan Shawn Feinstein, a philanthropist who works to stop hunger through the Feinstein Foundation.

The foundation divides $1 million among non-profit agencies providing food for people. The money is meant to help the agencies collecting donations.

During the two-month challenge period, the food bank collected donations of money and food items. The money and donations were tallied at the end of the challenge period with the food being valued at $1 per pound.

The Bonney Lake food bank received more than 8,433 pounds of food and $5,147.

The totals have been sent to the Feinstein Foundation and a check will be sent to the food bank by Aug. 1. The foundation divides the $1 million proportionally among the various agencies based on donations they received.

Donyes said among the many contributions received included $1,500 along with food from Creator Lutheran Church, $500 from former state Rep. Jan Shabro and $1,000 from the Fred Meyer Foundation.

Also, Curves of Bonney Lake and Kiwanis donated funds and food along with many private individuals.

According to Donyes, the food bank has received a steady stream of donations this year allowing the agency to serve during its regular hours of 9:30 a.m. Tuesdays and Thursday and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. every Friday except for holiday weekends.

“Our regular contributors like Grocery Outlet, Safeway and Albertson's and many individuals really help us,” Donyes said.

During the May 12 U. S. Postal Service mail carriers' food drive, Donyes said the food bank received 3,000 pounds of food.

The food bank is at 18409 Sumner Buckley Highway.

Dennis Box can be reached at

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