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Walla Walla Organizations and Businesses Team Up to Raise A Barrel Full of Money for Food Bank

Ten Walla Walla businesses and non-profit organizations, led by the Walla Walla Valley Wine Alliance and its’ member wineries, announced today the kick-off of a two-month fundraising campaign to raise money for the Blue Mountain Action Council’s Food Bank. The campaign, called A Barrel Full of Money is co-sponsored by Alaska Airlines, Baker Boyer Bank, Columbia REA, the Downtown Walla Walla Foundation and its’ member businesses, Integrity Design and Copy Works, the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center, Oak Tradition, Olander Design, Olive Marketplace & Café, and the Wine Alliance and its’ member wineries. The campaign launch will take place at Olive Marketplace & Café at 2 p.m. (Wed., 10/19), with the placement of the first barrel.

According to Duane Wollmuth, Executive Director of the Wine Alliance and program coordinator, “the goal of the campaign is to fill two wine barrels with money that will then be used to buy food for those in Walla Walla County who struggle in today’s economy. Individually, our member wineries have given back to the community in a variety of ways over the past two decades. We felt that through a coordinated effort and working closely with other community partners, we could go further in helping to ease the financial burden many people feel in putting food on the table. I know that filling two full barrels is a lofty goal, but if we all contribute in a small way or simply empty the change we collect at home in a jar, we can go a long way in helping BMAC’s food bank.”

The program will take place from October 19 through December 16, 2011 and will include multiple locations in the Valley at which contributions can be made. Two central barrels will be located at Olive Marketplace & Café and the Marcus Whitman Hotel & Conference Center. These barrels will have plexi-glass see-through ends so that the public can track the campaign’s progress. The final count will be conducted by Baker Boyer Bank and will be announced in mid-December.

Kathy Covey, Community Services Director for the Blue Mountain Action Council, believes “the Barrel Full of Money campaign is an ideal way for the community to help those less fortunate. Each year the BMAC Food Bank distributes an estimated 500,000 pounds of food to those in need through pantries in Walla Walla County. As everyone knows, the cost of basic essentials, such as food, has risen significantly in recent years. And, the affordability of these basic essentials has been made even tougher in our down economy.”

The Blue Mountain Action Council is a community action partnership agency providing a wide array of services to help people meet their basic essential needs. The BMAC food bank is the regional distribution center for the five local food pantries in Walla Walla County as well as the pantries in Columbia, Asotin and Garfield Counties. More information about the BMAC and its’ programs is available at www.bmacww.org or by calling 509-529-4980.