The N.E.W. Hunger Coalition is a nonprofit 501 (c) 3 organization of 17 food pantries and community partners in rural Ferry, Stevens and Pend Oreille Counties dedicated to strengthening emergency food systems through cooperation, education and food distribution.
Help Us End Hunger.
Goals: NEW Hunger Coalition members and partners work together to relieve hunger, improve nutrition, and build community food resilience.
Challenges we face:
- Remote terrain with a short growing season
- Generational poverty and unhealthy eating habits
- Lack of gardening, cooking, and food preservation skills
- Limited access to grocery stores with healthy fruits and vegetables
- Expense of nutrient dense food while nutrient poor food is readily available
The Hunger Coalition was originally convened by Bob Campbell, Chief Executive of Providence Health Care Stevens County (PHCSC) and Michele Sakurai, Manager of Pastoral Care and Mission (PHCSC) in Colville Washington.
They were concerned by the many health related issues of hunger showing up dramatically in the medical system and wanted to do something to address hunger.
The first meeting of the Hunger Coalition was in September 2011. Members have been meeting monthly since then.
Several entities work together to make this coalition work. Hover over each slice of the apple to learn more about how we all work together.
The benefits of working collaboratively include:
- Shared Resources
Click on each slice of the apple to learn more about how we all work together.
Board of Directors
Sherry Vokoun, Board President, Chewelah Food Pantry
Karen Myers, Vice President, Community Member
Patricia Reneman, Board Treasurer, Kettle Falls Food Pantry
Lori Truitt, Board Secretary, Community Member
Ann Fackenthall, Tum Tum Food Pantry
Aja Bridge, Rural Resources Community Action
Chris Knoefler, WSU Ext Coordinator Supervisor, Pend Oreille County
Mary Selecky, Providence Health Care Board
Ron Rehn, Providence Health Care - Stevens County
Shannon Rowley, WSU Extension, Stevens County
Robert Campbell, had the initial vision of starting the Hunger Coalition. He was troubled by poverty related hunger showing up as health issues in the health care systems and founded the Providence N.E.W. Hunger Coalition along with Michele Sakurai in September, 2011. Bob retired as Chief Executive for Providence Health Care Stevens County, working in health care administration for over 30 years.
Bob Esvelt [in memory], Bob was raised near Daisy, Washington on a dairy farm and has returned and has lived in the Rice-Daisy area since 1980 after 9 years in higher education. He has a B.S. degree in Zoology in 1975 from Washington State University and earned a PhD in Biochemistry in December 1979 after researching Vitamin D metabolism and physiological function. Bob served as President of the Board of Directors for the Kettle Falls Food Bank for the past three years. He has been active in the Democratic Party for over 20 years serving as Stevens County Chair, State Committeeman and 5th congressional district representative to the Washington State Democratic Committee Executive Board. Bob was a farmer for the past 30 years and has many connections and partnerships with local farmers.
Dr. Michele Le Doux Sakurai, Interim Executive Director
Michele managed Mission/Community Benefit/Pastoral Care/Ethics for Providence Health Care Stevens County. She holds a Doctorate of Ministry from San Francisco Theological Seminary, an M.A. in Theology from University of Portland, a M.Ed. in Adult Education from Oregon State University, was a post-graduate fellow (with an emphasis in Mission) for Trinity Health Care, is CAP (Change Acceleration Process) trained, received LEAN training as part of her “Foundations of Leadership” training with Trinity, and has been nationally certified as a chaplain for over 20 years. As past chair, she managed policies, monitored the budget and was the Board liaison to the general members and co-facilitates the monthly member meetings.
Gael Treesiwin, was one of the early catalysts that had a passion to mobilize this group of food banks that had not yet begun to work together. Her skills in grant writing and capacity building for nonprofit organizations has helped every food bank learn new skills and find new money.
Past Board Members:
Pam Borders, served as our Secretary for the first seven (formative) years. She was an employee of Providence Mount Carmel Hospital managing all of the hospitals outside vendor contracts and is assistant to program staff.
Cliff and Sarah Nelson, served as founding board members. They were both very involved on the Board and in management of the Loon Lake Food Pantry and Resource Center.
Lloyd Ward served as our Treasurer for the first seven (formative) years. Lloyd retired to Colville, Washington in 1993 from a military career. He is actively involved in helping solve hunger, employment for youth and support for our Veterans.
Past AmeriCorps/VISTA Volunteers:
Lindsey Edmunds, was our first AmeriCorps VISTA Gleaning Coordinator for with the Harvest Against Hunger Project. Lindsey had the grace and style to start a new program that introduced the local farmers to ways they could sell their produce and glean the excess with our assistance.
Matt Morse, the second AmeriCorps VISTA Gleaning Coordinator for with the Harvest Against Hunger Project. Matt was able to add some systems work into our gleaning and Farm to Food Pantry program. He also helped build the first “Cool Pup” trailer to move small amounts of food throughout our region.
Staff & Volunteers
F2FP Program Assistant
Our Partners and Donors
The partnerships that keep the N.E.W. Hunger Coalition operating are the community’s real heroes. We would like to thank the following business and organizations that make us what we are. We are truly fortunate to be partnering with such generous and caring organizations.
Providence Health Care System is not only a vital partner, they are the founders of The Hunger Coalition. Bob Campbell, former Chief Executive and Michele Sakurai, Manager of Pastoral Care of Providence Health Care Stevens County identified hunger as one of the leading issues in the county. With the desire to find the gaps of services, fourteen of the leading organizations in food distribution were brought together for the first time to discuss the challenges they face. What resulted was the founding of The Hunger Coalition in September 2011. Today we are uniting fourteen food banks and thirteen organizations working to promote a healthier and more sustainable community.
It all began with a single observation and the desire to change it: “I believe hunger is one of our greatest needs in Stevens County.” - Bob Campbell
The outcome of this statement: NEW Hunger Coalition Formation
Washington State University Stevens County Extension connects the people of Stevens County to the research and knowledge from the state’s land grand research university providing solutions to local problems and stimulating local economies. Our county-based educators work with partners in your communities to provide educational programs and leverage the broad resources of a major university to resolve issues and create a positive future for the residents of Stevens County.
Through a generous grant, Snap-Ed is sponsoring our Grow Your Own Row Program, providing materials, support and hands on instruction for food pantry clients to grow their own row of healthy vegetables.
Northwest Harvest is Washington’s own statewide hunger relief agency. Our mission is to provide nutritious food to hungry people statewide in a manner that respects their dignity, while fighting to eliminate hunger. Our vision is that ample nutritious food is available to everyone in Washington State. NW Harvest delivers to our regions food pantries.
Colmac Coil Manufacturing, Inc. generously designed and donated a custom, Farm to Food Pantry refrigerated trailer as part of our Cool Pups program. The goal of the Farm to Food Pantry Program is to provide fresh and healthy produce to northeastern Washington community members experiencing food insecurity.
The Cool Pup trailer Colmac Coil provided will keep this produce in peak condition during transport from local farms to 17 food banks within Ferry, Stevens, and Pend Oreille counties.
Since 1965, Rural Resources Community Action has helped residents of Northeastern Washington help themselves and each other. Through education, resources and support, we offer real hope to children, seniors and families, by working to create a stronger and more stable community for us all.
Each year, 14,000 people in Ferry, Lincoln, Pend Oreille, Whitman and Stevens Counties turn to Rural Resources for short-term assistance and long-term solutions to help them take control of their lives and their futures.
Second Harvest, founded in 1971, leads a network of 250 neighborhood food banks and meal centers throughout Eastern Washington and North Idaho. Second Harvest provides 1.7 million pounds of donated food each month to help feed hungry people.
2022 saw new challenges for 2nd Harvest, food supply shortages and increased fuel costs forced them to cease delivery to our 17 food pantries. Though cooperation among agencies, once a month delivery is restored to Rural Resouces' warehouse, filling the delivery gap and NEWHC assisting produce distribution during the growing season.
The Avista Foundation is a community investment program of Avista providing funding to non-profit organizations addressing the needs of communities and citizens served by Avista Utilities.
Avista donated $3000.00 to get our original Cool Pup refrigeration trailer back in working order for use in our Farm to Food Pantry Program. Through their generous donation, we were able to repair the generators, install tow hitches, and purchase new ac units, jacks, and rolling carts for loading and unloading.
In 2023 Avista contributed $5000.00 to our Grow Your Own Row Program. Grow bags, soil, and other gardening materials were purchased for class participants.
KeyBank generously supports NEWHC's Farm to Food Pantry Program. With recent increases in food and fuel prices, we have seen more people turning to our 17 food pantries for assistance.
NEWHC used the generous funds from KeyBank to purchase healthy fruits and vegetables and distributed them to food pantries in three counties. During the 2022 growing season we delivered 27,000 pounds of produce! KeyBank's support allowed us to fill the gap between state funding and need.
Ag West Farm Credit is proud to partner with NEW Hunger Coalition to combat hunger and strengthen local food independence. Their generosity will support local farmers and serve people in need.
Ag West FC is an agricultural lending cooperative with more than a century of experience serving farmer, ranchers, timber, and aquatic producers throughout the west. They champion the growth and advancement of agriculture and the value of rural communities.
- Tri County Economic Development District (TEDD)
- UMC/Ministerial Association
- Stevens County Commissioners
- Colville Rotary
- Northeast Washington Tri-County Health District
- Dept. of Social and Health Services
- Faith-based lunch programs
- Windemere Realestate
- Teck American
Statewide & REgional Partners
- Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA)
- Catholic Charities – Food For All program
- US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
- Nonprofits of Washington
- LINC Foods, a Local Inland Northwest Cooperative
- Washington Food Coalition