Salt of the Earth started in 1992 as an outreach to the teens on the streets of Everett and was known as Salt of the Earth Youth Ministries. Our food bank later began in 1993.
When the youth ministries began, we were a safe place to hang out. In the latter part of that same year, I met a dynamic 83 year old woman, named Mildred Yager. She had a heart for these kids and wanted to show them love and help them any way she possibly could. At that time there were 5 youth. I asked how I could assist her? She didn't hesitate in asking me to make sack lunches for the kids.
It wasn't long and the word spread, and soon there were approximately 35. By that time I was also making a hot meal. This was getting a little spendy for our limited income. I thought I might ask the local grocery stores if they could help in any way. The stores were very generous, and before I knew what was happening, we were feeding the youth, as well as adults. For two or three years I was picking up food every day, 365 days a year. Also, making sack lunches, hot meals, and food baskets.
Then God sent others to volunteer their time and effort to enable us to reach more people in our community. More food banks were opened and more baskets were made. Alan T. donated an old van to the ministry, which we laughingly said runs on Prayer Power, and it did. At the time [this letter was originally written] our van broke down again as we were picking up food (my husband is trying to repair it now.)
Then more people came forward to volunteer until all seven days were covered. We are now doing sack lunches on Tuesday at the Westminister Presbyterian Church in downtown Everett, and the last Tuesday of the month is a hot meal. [Starting in late 2009, Samuel Williford -- who now runs the soup kitchen -- is preparing hot meals every Tuesday of the month, except for the first Tuesday, which is a sack lunch day.]
We also hand out clothing and sleeping bags when we get them in. Our whole organization is run by volunteers from many churches and denominations. We rallied together with the same heart and vision for our community, giving such as we have to those less fortunate..
What makes our food bank unique is that we are open seven days a week, with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas. On Christmas Eve day a few years back, it was snowing hard and there were several inches of snow on the ground, when we were headed to the Everett Gospel Mission. We saw a man trudging through the snow with a light jacket and tennis shoes on. We stopped and asked him where he was going, and he told us that his family was out of food and he was heading to Volunteers of America Food Bank.
Jump in, we said, "We are Salt of the Earth Food Bank, and we are heading down to the Gospel Mission."
He couldn't believe his eyes when he looked in the back of the van and saw all of the food. When we arrived at the mission we told them what had happened and they supplied this gentleman with a turkey and a ham, and we supplied him with the rest.
How blessed he and his family felt, and so were we. That is what it is all about, helping others. Salt of the Earth has a good working relationship with other food banks and organizations in the area, and we do referrals back and forth, as well as food.
We have eight food banks and reach (at the time of this writing) approximately 6,000 people a month in areas such as Arlington, Granite Falls, Lake Stevens, Clearview, Monroe, Snohomish, Marysville, Everett, Bothell and Silver Lake. We do not discriminate and our services are free. Freely we receive, freely we give.
Thank you for considering donating to help our ministry. We are a non-profit organization with a 501 (c) 3, and run on private donations. All donations are tax deductible. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me, Sandra Richards at (425) 355-1042. We are looking forward to hearing from you, with great anticipation.