Food insecurity in America is a bizarre issue. The amount of food we overproduce and throw away each day would feed a small nation. It makes no sense that anyone goes to bed hungry in this country. Those who know me well, know that it is an issue about which I am passionate. Apparently, so is Sierra Nevada Brewing. Certainly and obviously, the folks at Ballard Food Bank share my passion.
Sierra Nevada Brewing is partnering with Ballard Food Bank to fight food insecurity in Seattle. The pandemic has been hard on everyone and the food banks are getting stressed like never before. Using beer to help relieve some of the pressure is a noble cause.
The partnership with Ballard Food Banks is part of a larger program that Sierra Nevada Brewing started in August. The company pledged to donate $1 million to a variety of non-profit organizations across the nation. The program is centered around a beer: Dankful IPA. Beyond drinking the beer, you are welcome to support Ballard Food Bank however you can (visit the website).
I’ve had Dankful IPA and when Sierra Nevada says it is “generously hopped,” they are not kidding. It is a hophead’s dream. A super-hopped, non-hazy, dank AF IPA. It hits on some of my favorite hop notes: it is both tropical and resinous, and even a little bit bitter. It clocks in at 7.4 percent ABV and 55 IBU.
“Our goal is to support communities in our backyard and beyond, with a focus on urgent needs for many people right now,” explained Sierra Nevada Vice President Sierra Grossman. “Dankful allows us to focus on what we do best: supporting the causes we believe in and brewing great beer.”
The Ballard Food Bank offers drive-thru and no-touch pick-up of food in the Food Bank parking lots, and also delivers food to seniors, people with disabilities, and others who either cannot leave their homes or don’t feel safe doing so during the pandemic.
Like I said, food banks are getting hammered because of the pandemic. In October alone, at Ballard Food Bank there were 6,400 visits and home deliveries. That is double the number of visits and deliveries the organization would usually see in a month.
“Folks are really hurting in Seattle. The number of people visiting Ballard Food Bank and receiving food deliveries has doubled in the past year. Many have never needed a food bank before,” said Jen Muzia, Ballard Food Bank Executive Director. “Thanks to generous supporters like Sierra Nevada, we will be there for people today and in the months ahead—we will get through this pandemic together.”
Sierra Nevada is partnering with new nonprofits each quarter, allowing the brewery to be nimble and immediate in its efforts. “Rather than making donations contingent upon Dankful sales, we’ve committed to at least $1 Million in donations over the next year,” explained Communications Director Robin Gregory. “This is a way to provide immediate support for nonprofits doing critical work in our communities.”
A press release from the company explains that philanthropy has long been an integral part of Sierra Nevada’s DNA. During the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the brewery worked with Enloe Medical Center to produce VTM—a necessary tool for COVID testing. In 2018, the brewery organized Resilience Butte County Proud IPA, a crowdsourced fundraising effort that raised nearly $10 million for the local community after the deadly Camp Fire.
Ballard Food Bank’s stated mission is “to bring food and hope to our neighbors because there can be enough for everyone. We serve individuals living in Northwest Seattle, including Ballard, Magnolia, Queen Anne, Fremont, Phinney Ridge, Green Lake, and parts of South Lake Union. To achieve our mission, we provide access to nutritious foods and services that support self-sufficiency, and we advocate for food equity and justice.”