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Latinx Heritage Month: Alimentando al Pueblo

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In celebration of Latinx Heritage Month, we have invited founders of Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery Jake Prendez and Judy Avitia-Gonzalez to curate a series of profiles and stories to amplify and honor people, businesses, organizations, and projects connected to Seattle’s Latinx community.

During the COVID Pandemic of 2020, out of Community* need, a revolutionary food bank was born. Five women from the Highline service area collaborated with six local, partner organizations (Colectiva Legal del Pueblo, Para los Niños, La Roxay Productions, Lake Burien Presbyterian Church and White Center Community Development Association) to establish Alimentando al Pueblo. The Community leaders include Azucena Seijas, Hilda Pardo, Patricia Palomino, Roxana Pardo Garcia, and Sandra Simarra.

We caught up with Alimentando al Pueblo Executive Director, Roxana Pardo Garcia and board members, Martha Molina and Susana Contreras-Mendez for a quick conversation about what they are doing.

How did Alimentando al Pueblo start?

Alimentando al Pueblo is a food bank that was born out of the COVID-19 pandemic. We were able to start and innovate due to the influx of federal relief dollars directed to our local governments. It was the first time we saw funds become available for cultural foods and we were fortunate enough to receive funds to bring our vision to life.

What makes Alimentando al Pueblo unique from other food banks?

A group of people wearing yellow sweatshirts and white t-shirts standing on a set of stairs smiling.

We are the only Latinx food system in the country because of its procurement through distribution. We purchase organic produce from Mariposa Farm (a Mexican-owned + operated farm in Whatcom County), and purchase Latinx staples from BJ Distributors (a Mexican-owned + operated business in Snohomish County).

By working directly with these local distributors, we are re-investing in our economy and able to offer culturally relevant food to our Community.

Art and music are incorporated into food distributions to transform the culture of accessing food banks. Our team members, volunteers, and board of directors are also all Latinx.

What are some of the barriers you have encountered?

Alimentando al Pueblo is a project rooted in facilitating healing for Community that has been disproportionately impacted by the COVID -19 pandemic – impacts that have only been amplified by systemic and historical racism and economic disenfranchisement. We face multifaceted problems, and we must have multifaceted solutions.

We know, and see that it, is our collective responsibility to ensure the well-being of our Community. We are guided by this understanding.

What kind of impacts have you had on Community?

A person wearing a high-visibility vest and protective face mask stacking cardboard boxes full of food.

In our third year of operation, Alimentando al Pueblo raised $436,823 dollars, which supported the work of delivering 2,000+ food boxes impacting 400+ families in our community. More than 1,000 people attended our celebrations, plus more than $30,000 was reinvested back into BIPoC vendors, artists, and small businesses. To our team, volunteers, suppliers, donors, sponsors, and funders – we are grateful for your contributions, commitment, and energy!

Learn more about Alimentando al Pueblo and how to support their mission on their social media @AlimentandoalPueblo and website,

*Community is intentionally capitalized.

This piece was commissioned by the Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. The opinions expressed and information contained herein do not necessarily reflect the policies, plans, beliefs, conclusions, or ideas of the City of Seattle.