Blue Mountain Action Council
Blue Mountain Action Council (BMAC) has provided social services for low-income people in Walla Walla since 1966. BMAC offers eleven distinct services to help the whole person fight the effects of food insecurity. The food bank is one of these services. BMAC Food Bank is committed to their community by partnering with community organizations to reach as many low-income people as possible. BMAC Food Bank is focused on client-center and well-rounded diet of nutritious foods that reflects the community’s cultural needs. In recent years, BMAC Food Bank has been able to expand their capacity to reach more people through the upgrade of their infrastructure and equipment and the ability to purchase additional produce and to distribute food more widely. This year they were able to increase the amount of Farm to Food Pantry contracts with local farmers by $8,000 per contract. In addition, BMAC Food Bank distributes food directly to pantries, food banks in 4 counties, as well as smaller non-contracted entities such as Walla Walla Community College, Churches, and the Senior Center. The Food Bank also distributes foods through special programs such as Community Supplemental Food Program for Seniors, School Backpack Program, and Grocery Rescue Program. This year BMAC Food Bank has reduced their method of distribution from direct distribution from the Walla Walla BMAC Food Bank to a community church who has a large volunteer base and which is located closer to the people who are in need. BMAC Food Bank is continually seeking to expand their capacity by improving their infrastructure and increasing their partnerships and programs.
In 2021, BMAC began its second Harvest VISTA program to date, bringing on a Food System Coordinator AmeriCorps. The first-year AmeriCorps member works to secure more fresh produce for food banks, operates the gleaning program, facilitates the Walla Walla Valley Food System Coalition, and promotes BMAC’s mission.
The 2nd year AmeriCorps member is focused on building BMAC Food Bank’s capacity by sustaining partnerships with farms, recruiting new volunteers, and centering nutrition and health in Food Bank operations. The AmeriCorps member’s foremost focus is sustaining and strengthening partnerships. Currently, most of our volunteers come from one organization. To expand the number of volunteers, relationships are being developed with three other volunteer organizations in the community. In addition, we are reaching out to residents in Walla Walla and farms outside of the city of Walla Walla for untapped gleaning opportunities. In collaboration with the Walla Walla Valley Food System Coalition, BMAC Food Bank is reaching out to form new partners with local farms to build WA Food Farm Finder and to sign up farmers up to accept SNAP. BMAC Food Bank is developing a nutrition policy that will guide the food bank in distributing and educating people about healthy food choices.
Host Site Articles
- A Garden Produces!
- Celebrating Food with Fun & Education
- Community Food Forums
- Donor Relations at Blue Mountain Action Council
- Gleaning from Start to Finish
- History at Blue Mountain Action Council
- Increasing Local Food Purchasing at Blue Mountain Action Council
- Location-Specific Donation Boxes
- Marketing at Blue Mountain Action Council
- Starting a Garden for the Community at Blue Mountain Action Council
- Utilizing Farmers' Markets in Walla Walla
- Volunteer Relations at Blue Mountain Action Council
- Walla Walla Gleaning Model
- Walla Walla Pre-Picked Donations