Helping Hands Opens Anacortes Site

The Anacortes 100 Food Bank has proudly served its community for over 35 years and is grateful for the tens of thousands of individuals we have been able to help.  Founded in the 1970s, the name “Anacortes 100” came from the idea to ask the community if 100 people would pledge $5.00 per month to feed its neighbors.  At the time, it was an adequate number to help get the food bank off the ground.  It was quickly funded and Anacortes 100 Food Bank took off.

The Samish Indian Tribe played a big role in the original plan for the food bank, which was opened to serve families and individuals in Anacortes without judgement addressing food insecurity.  The original board members had tribal members participating and playing an active part when the food bank was formed.  

Board member William Testerman joined when his family moved to Anacortes in the summer of 1986.  The house on 4th street had already been acquired by then, but needed some work.  Mr. Testman’s family participated for several weekends painting and doing odd repair jobs. Originally the house was used as a food bank and shelter for women that had been forced to leave their homes because of domestic violence.  The Anacortes 100 Food Bank shifted back to its original mission some time ago, but early on in its history it set forward to serve its most vulnerable in Anacortes.

The Anacortes 100 Food Bank was proudly managed by Belinda Dye for over 20 years and was the principal person in charge of food collection and supervising the volunteers.  When she developed cancer, she continued to be involved with the day to day activities but it became increasingly difficult for her.   Her son in law, Dave Scott, came in as Executive Director to operate the facility and allow Belinda to still be involved but also focus on her health.  Sadly, she passed away in February 2019.  Dave has since run The Anacortes 100 Food Bank alongside his staff and volunteers.  

“Serving Anacortes has been amazing,” Executive Director of Anacortes 100 Dave Scott explains, “But it has not been without its challenges.  We have been so fortunate at Anacortes 100 to see great support from volunteers and donors to support this effort over the years.”

In late August of 2020, the Board Of Directors for The Anacortes 100 Food Bank made the difficult decision to begin the process of closing its doors.  The Board and Staff of The Anacortes 100 Food Bank has truly appreciated the support the city has given it over the years, recognizing it would not have been possible to fulfill its mission without it.  The Anacortes 100 Food Bank may be sunsetting on their story, but its mission and vision live on through Helping Hands Food Bank of Skagit County.

Helping Hands Food Bank of Skagit County began assisting with The Anacortes 100 Food Bank Food Acquisition and Operations in late 2019.  The Helping Hands Mission to serve the community with kindness and without judgement was a natural fit for The Anacortes 100 Food Bank, and the partnership flourished as they worked together serving Anacortes.  The Anacortes 100 Food Bank is an essential part of support to families in Anacortes, serving over 400 families each month.  Helping Hands is proud to carry on this mission:

“The Helping Hands Mission is to nourish our community with kindness and respect without judgment,” Shares Rebecca Larsen, Executive Director of Helping Hands, “The Anacortes 100 Food Bank shares similar values to our own, and it has been a pleasure to work alongside them the past 9 months serving the community.  I look forward to continuing that mission and vision through the Helping Hands operations.”

Helping Hands is more than a food bank and hopes to bring additional services to the community of Anacortes. Prior to COVID-19 and responding to the pandemic, Helping Hands operated out of its Solution Center in Sedro-Woolley with food distribution.  Alongside its food distribution programs it also offered job internship opportunities, a navigation center to connect families and individuals to services (including having DSHS trained staff), and a resource classroom offering training and education.  In February of 2020, Helping Hands also expanded out its services to Marblemount, feeding over 150 families each week with its partnership at Inspire Church.

Helping Hands is looking forward to growing its partnerships with Anacortes businesses and organizations, and helping feed its neighboring families.  Helping Hands of Skagit County will be moving food distribution from the house on 4th street to a drive-thru model at The Anacortes Christian Church beginning Wednesday September 30th.  Distribution hours will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.  The house on 4th street holds special meaning to the origins of The Anacortes 100 Food Bank, but will be prepared and sold to make way for the new chapter of serving families in Anacortes.

We invite our community to be a part of the Helping Hands transition.  If you have any questions, please contact us at: or you may call: (360) 856-2211.

The Anacortes 100 Food Bank is appreciative for all the years it has served Anacortes.  We are looking forward to this new chapter with Helping Hands.

Any past or present donors, if you have any questions about your support please contact Helping Hands Executive Director Rebecca Larsen at: or call (360) 856-2211.