Holland America Line and Seabourn employees, about 400 of them, were joined by Holland America Line president and CEO and Seabourn chairman Stein Kruse and other company executives this week as they helped process and prepare more than 111,000 pounds of food at Northwest Harvest, an organization dedicated to feeding the hungry in Washington State. The cruise companies’ sixth annual community giving week ran from Dec. 9 through 13, with employees volunteering for morning and afternoon shifts at the organization’s Kent, Wash., distribution center.
In 2012, the two cruise lines hosted the fifth annual community giving week at the organization. Last year, they helped process and prepare more than 100,000 pounds of food for area food banks, shelters and meal programs. Kruse presented Northwest Harvest with a monetary and grocery card donation worth more than $2,700 on behalf of the cruise lines and their employees. This year, it totals nearly $6,000.
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Since 2008, more than 3,000 Holland America Line and Seabourn employees have volunteered at the Kent location, in addition to giving food and monetary donations. Northwest Harvest executives estimate that company employees have helped sort well over 150 tons (300,000 pounds) of food over the years.
Northwest Harvest is Washington’s only statewide hunger relief agency. The organization supplies free food to a network of nearly 360 independent food banks and meal programs throughout the state. Relying on contributions from individuals, businesses, foundations and other organizations, 93 percent of Northwest Harvest’s total budget goes to food distribution.