Good Cheer Food Bank and Thrift Stores got a check earlier this week for $35,000 from the Boeing Employees Community Fund, executive director Kathy McCabe said Thursday.
The money will be used to buy a van for a team of volunteers who clip food-store coupons and buy food that is donated through the organization’s food bank in Bayview. The coupon-clipping program saved Good Cheer $150,000 last year, McCabe said.
Until now, the 10 volunteer coupon-clippers have gone shopping in the personal car of Ula Lewis, a volunteer who works at least 50 hours a week and is known as the Coupon Queen, McCabe said.
“In the past four years, she has put more than 100,000 miles on that car,” McCabe said.
Boeing “has always been very good to us,” she said. “They’ve given us at least 30 grants throughout our history.” The largest of those, for $50,000, paid for a new cooler and freezer at the food bank, plus a building to house them.
Good Cheer’s relationship with Boeing is close because the company employs numerous Whidbey Island residents, and because Good Cheer’s food bank has sustained some of those personnel during strikes in the past, McCabe said.
“They honor and appreciate that,” she said.
In addition to the food bank, Langley-based Good Cheer operates one thrift store in Langley and another in Clinton.