The quote by Helen Keller “Alone we can do so little. Together we can do so much” is reflective of the great work being done by the EastWest Food Rescue in Redmond Washington. I had the honor to interview George Ahearn whose Facebook message set off a chain of amazing events.
What were you doing on April 27, 2020? That was the day George posted on Facebook the need to get a truck so that the potatoes and onions farmers in his hometown of Othello Washington were going to be plowed under because they could not be sold. Quickly after that post George was contacted by Nancy Balin, and then Zsofia Pasztor to team together to get this precious food to people who were in need. George talked about how he tends to be singled out because of his Facebook post, yet he was clear in his admiration and sharing credit with Nancy and Zsofia for propelling EastWest Food Rescue to where they are today.
George reported it was incredible how quickly trucks and people showed up to help. Within 72 hours of his original Facebook post this convoy of good went to pick up the 2000 lbs of food which was distributed to foodbanks.
“Fight for the things you care about. Yet do it in a way that will lead others to join you.” Ruth Bader Ginsburg
What George, Nancy, and Zsofia quickly realized was that there was more food they could get and more people who needed food. The food they were getting was going quickly because there were so many people who did not have food to eat. Watching people suffer when they needed help was not going to happen. By keeping the plan simple and connecting the dots George, Nancy, and Zsofia came up with a simple solution to get the food from the farmers and distribute it to people. What emerged was the non-profit EastWest Food Rescue.
EastWest Food Rescue is now operating in ten states. They build on the fundamentals of trust, integrity, and relationships. The farmers they work with need to trust they will continue to work with them and will pay them at minimum their cost. People receiving the food need to trust that the food will be there and that the food will be quality food. EastWest Food Rescue is proud to have grade A, grade 1, quality food. They do their best to create food boxes that are respectful of cultural and religious beliefs.
George raved, applauded and had clear admiration for the unsung heroes behind EastWest Food Rescue. The floor crew and volunteers who continue to show up to help bag, sort, and distribute food. The farmers who are so generous in the food they willingly share, even when there might be no profit to them. The credit for all of this goes to all of them for all the good that has been done, all the hungry bellies who are now full.
George, who when he was 9 years old decided he wanted to become a registered nurse and became one, loves the complexity, the relationships, seeing middle aged people packing food that will go for good, that will make life a little less stressful for another person. He shared that Eastern and Western Washington have strong political divides. Seems to me coming together for a common good of getting needed food to hungry people might be a way to begin bridging what is different.
To date the EastWest Food Rescue has helped to feed over 1.5 MILLION people.Over 10,000,00 lbs of food has been saved. George, Nancy, and Zsofia’s teamwork, which is making the dreamwork, have excelled at connecting the dots and fixing a broken food chain. The amazing farmers, volunteers, and so many others have shown how when a small group of committed people put their minds together great things will happen.
We are thrilled and honored to have in our spotlight the amazing EastWest Food Rescue. George put it best when he said “many hands have made a million pounds.” At Kindness Champions we see things as Mother Theresa put it. “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.” Thank you so much for what you do EastWest Food Rescue as it makes a huge difference to so many.
To learn more about the EastWest Food Rescue here is the contact information: