Anacortes refinery leads the way in food drive donations for Helping Hands

Community News

The Anacortes refinery was named the C.H.O.W. (Cutting Hunger on Weekends) Champion of Skagit County, Washington, for the second year in a row. The refinery participated in the Helping Hands Food Bank’s annual food drive in August and beat its donation from the previous year by nearly 100,000 pounds of food. This year, the refinery employees made monetary and food donations that totaled 500,000 pounds of food.

"Without the support of  Marathon and other partners, the children of the C.H.O.W. program would not have the access to food over the weekends,” said Rebecca Skrinde, Executive Director of Helping Hands. “This program helps the families and children be ready to learn on Monday.”

More than 10,000 students in Skagit County are on the free and reduced lunch program, and Helping Hands serves roughly 1,200 children each weekend.

“We have heard of children being silent about their weekend hunger to not start fights between their divorcing parents or rushing to school for breakfast on Monday to get their first real meal since Friday, said Skrinde. “These are families trying to make ends meet, and sometimes the choice is rent not food. We are thankful Marathon Petroleum is there to make these children and families stronger and are hopeful for their futures."

Tara Havard, Advanced Supply Chain Business Rep. at the Anacortes refinery, is now a board member for Helping Hands. She’ll help support the nonprofit in its mission to nourish the community.

For being top contributor, Marathon Petroleum earned a catered lunch from Helping Hands, which was donated to the Friendship House, an emergency shelter.