Local Mom Launches Service to Fight Hunger
A Laurelhurst mom aims to teach kids how they can help drive away hunger one car ride at a time
By Kate Calamusa September 16, 2014
For Jennifer Porter, thinking inside the box led to inspiration: Two years ago, the mother of two elementary-age schoolchildren stashed a leftover box from a gingerbread decorating party in the trunk of her car, thinking to fill it with donations for area food banks. “Having it in the car kept it top of mind,” says Porter, who is the founder of the local baby apparel and accessories brand Satsuma Designs. “By picking up extra goods on sale during grocery trips, we filled it within a month. I thought, ‘This is a great idea for busy families.’” It was that idea that launched the Food Driving Box (fooddrivingbox.org), a free, handy, reusable cardboard container imprinted with a list of frequently needed provisions, such as canned proteins, veggies and fruits. The boxes are available to pick up, fill and then drop off at any of Seattle’s 27 food banks, including University District Food Bank (1413 NE 50th St.; 206.523.7060; udistrictfoodbank.org) as well as the Laurelhurst Community Center (4554 NE 41st St.; 206.684.7529; seattle.gov). In addition to helping the community at large, Porter also sees the box as an avenue to teach kids a larger lesson about hunger. “Every day, we see people in need while we are driving around in our cars,” she says. “The box is an easy way to introduce the idea of giving back.” This month and next, Food Driving Box and Wallingford-based antipoverty advocacy group Solid Ground are challenging families to fill boxes once each month in anticipation of the holiday season, a time when area banks are often stretched to their limits—and families spend more time shopping.