St. Alphonsus principal Matt Eisenhauer (left) and pastor Shane McKee hold a few of the items collected by their students in two days for the Queen Anne Food Bank. Photo courtesy of St. Alphonsus
After having to close its doors in 2011 due to lack of funding, Queen Anne Food Bank (QAFB) at Sacred Heart (232 Warren Ave. N.) began serving the needy again in February 2012. It now hosts two hunger programs: the Sack Lunch Program (weekday mornings) and the food bank (every Thursday afternoon).
A donor took QAFB staff by surprise when his students collected 740 pounds of food in only two days, just in time for the holiday season. Matt Eisenhauer, principal of St. Alphonsus Parish School in Ballard, challenged his community to bring in enough food to fill his office and force him to work from the school’s commons area. Students, staff and parishioners accepted the challenge, and the day before Thanksgiving, Eisenhauer and teacher Brent Stinebrickner drove a pickup truck full of food to QAFB.
QAFB manager Elise Hale-Case saw the amount of food being unloaded and, at first, assumed that the school had been collecting for about a month. When told that all the food had been collected in just two days, she explained to Eisenhauer that the school’s food drive from the previous year, along with other local donors, was the reason she was able to keep the food bank’s doors open on a regular basis. This year’s donation set the QAFB up to support its programs all through the holiday season.
St. Alphonsus has a shared history with Sacred Heart Parish in Queen Anne. Prior to 1901, when St. Alphonsus Parish was founded, Ballard Catholics were served by the Redemptorist Fathers from Sacred Heart.
Parishioner Liz Nielsen, a parent of a current St. Alphonsus student, decided to do her part, as well. On Dec. 21, she and her husband, Darren Miller, owners of Ballard’s The Stepping Stone, hosted a holiday party, where they raffled off items donated by other local businesses. All proceeds from the raffle will be donated to QAFB.