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FOOD BANK: East Side needs Eloise Cooking Pot

Letter by Daniel W. White, Fox Island on Dec. 9, 2010 at 11:38 am with 13 Comments »
December 9, 2010 1:12 pm

I own several rental homes on the Eastside of Tacoma and am disappointed by the “welcome” that the Eloise Cooking Pot Food Bank has received from the TNT, City of Tacoma and East Side leadership (TNT, 11-22).

Judging by the response of over a 1,000 hungry people, the leadership of this community should know a good thing when it sees it. I for one have invested heavily in Tacoma and openly welcome organizations that improve lives and give hope to our community.

I spent time to visit the food bank and found that they obtained a City of Tacoma business license prior to opening and cleaned up area in which they operate, which is zoned for “mixed use.”

Surely with all the negative elements plaguing the East Side (no need to list them), the last thing we should be doing is discouraging a selfless valuable organization from helping people eat.

Please see the wisdom of preserving and supporting the Eloise Cooking Pot Food Bank.

Leave a comment Comments → 13
  1. TacomaMinds says:

    Mr. White I think you have been misinformed about the situation at hand. I too own an outstanding amount of properties within the Eastside but also choose to be a resident as well. The community feeling that we have here is unsurpassable and we fight as a team to keep rubbish from taking over our neighborhoods and streets. I take offense to the way you have portrayed our community and how without knowledge you have posted this. As of today the city has no record of a business license for this space at hand. After meeting with a community representative I was puzzled to hear that several emails were ignored inviting Ms. Blue to attend the neighborhood meetings we share only to welcome her. She also spoke of the church on the next block as if they shunned her and to their knowledge nothing like this has ever happened. This leads me to believe that she didn’t have any concern for our neighborhood in this matter and is speaking to city officials as if she were a child not getting her way. A tantrum of sorts. The business names she has chosen are strangely similar to other well founded businesses with immaculate reputations. Could she gain from impersonating anothers good name? As a concerned resident I have been down the alley several times and I know Ms. Blue knows exactly who I am. I have seen drug deals right in the front of the line, urination along cars, and I’ve picked up stray needles left on the ground. I also made it my job to ask the assembled where they derived. It was a very odd answer to actually find someone from the neighborhood. A small group of men proclaimed they have taken up residency in what they affectionately called, “Old MP Park.” I’m assuming they meant the park just North of the food bank over the hill. The building being used presently is an outbuilding for a car with no available parking or restrooms for recipients of food. Our neighborhood looks something like a chaotic circus during the convergence. I’m not sure which food bank you’ve stopped by but it’s not the one I’ve seen operating by any means.

  2. the3rdpigshouse says:

    Daniel – if you think it is such a great idea – open a handout out of one of your rentals!!! Or better yet – open one of your rentals doe “Free Rent” and become real popular – but please, not in my neighborhood!

  3. insidevoice says:

    What do a fancy Seattle Lawyer and a rich developer from Fox Island, Mr. White, have in common?
    They know better than the residents of the Eastside what is best for them.
    And they know how to spin it to look like the victim, but lets look at some of the facts:

    1) Ms Blue says she only serves residents and doesn’t attract people from outside the area.
    Fact: When the TNT went to interview people in line they were from Fife.

    2) Ms. Blue says, although she is from Seattle she has purchased $5 million worth of property in East Tacoma,
    Fact: county records on show $600,000 worth of property set up under the protection of an LLC.

    3)They didn’t know they needed permits to open a food bank and thought they had all they needed by filing for a business license.
    Fact: as a developer she should have know that you can’t operate out of a residential home (that is zoned residential.) Secondly she should have know that BUILDING PERMITS would be needed to remodel and add electrical.

    4) They claim to run a clean operation.
    Fact: The dirty, nasty alley has garbage, pallets and dog crap from the apartments next door up & down it.

    5) She tried “so hard ” to reach out to the neighbors before begining.
    Fact: Community groups left flyers and and phonce calls inviting the food bank to local meetings that were not responded to until they recived a letter from the City about the numerous violations.

    6)FACT: The leadership of the Food Bank rather than admit they made mistakes, continue to try to blame local homeowners and misinform people like Mr. White, developer.

    7) FACT Mr White is a jackwagon for the following quote:
    “Surely with all the negative elements plaguing the East Side (no need to list them)” So negative you choose to by houses as rentals.

    Ms, Blue and Mr White, I ask:
    How many sex offeneders do you have living in your houses in our nieghborhood?
    How much are you fleecing the State Taxpayers in subisidies?

  4. the3rdpigshouse says:

    insidevoice – those are the type of quesrions ignored by the guilty!

  5. TacomaMinds says:

    Good to see I’m not the only man who can see through this warped business plan of trickery and finger pointing. A proud businessman has no shame in involving everyones eyes into his plans for the future. This friends is a first rate scam on our neighborhood and she knows she is lit up on our radar. Ms. Blue, you aren’t dealing with imbeciles just because we decided to live in a less desirable area. We have beautiful views of both the Puget Sound and Mount Rainier with only a short walk to the beach. You should be well aware that our home prices are rock bottom for the square footage purchased. This area of Tacoma is often overlooked because of the reputation we aquired in the 90’s and we know exactly what you are trying to pull into it now. We are not happy because you have proven that you would step on us to get your way. Well we are a strong bunch of blokes and refuse to be mistreated. Our community is something WE have made and we won’t stand for this kind of trickery to weaken our foundation. I am a proud resident among my Eastside neighbors and I am very pleased with our neighborhood community groups for the way they have handled this situation. They have not taken sides but rather looked at the facts and are only heard when our safety is compromised. Walk anywhere near this building and you will be hassled by panhandlers or have to reroute alltogether because of blocking vehicles. I am a proud resident and I’m willing to put my resources on the line to keep this a safe neighborhood for all involved as I know many others would do.

  6. First_Lefty says:

    a person called “pigshouse” says “not in my neighborhood”

    The irony of it all.

  7. Ahndrea Blue says:

    I am amazed at the comments that are stated to be factual which are false. I will not use my time or energy to respond. My only intent here is to serve the people in this area with food and to work with the community. To those who have attacked my character, clearly you do not know me or have not taken the time to get to know me. I am and will always be opened to speaking directly with you to address any concerns you may have. I welcome your calls, visits or emails. Tacomamind, I have no idea who you are but I would love to meet with you and anyone else who have concerns about the food bank.

  8. Why the attack on Ms. Blue and the food bank? Why has it is gotten so personal? Is there not a need for a food bank in this area? Are there not people starving and in need of this help? She had the heart to help people who needed food and for this we are criticizing it. What has the world come to? Not in our neighborhood? These are our neighbors and we should be a ashamed. I live in the community and have personally seen this food bank and the people it serves. It is doing a great job. We should be supporting it and not fighting it.

  9. Citizentoo says:

    Wow! I can’t believe that Ms. Blue had the heart to respond. I think that took courage, so I have decided to give my two cents. I am a long term resident of the area, volunteer and a neighbor. Clearly the previous comments are not about the truth but about assaination of Ms. Blue’s character.
    The truth:
    1. The majority of the people the food bank serves live in this area. I was present the day TNT came to the food bank. The couple that was served from fife (TNT) were ina motel and came by bus to the food bank. They now live in east Tacoma. Everyone else that was served that day was from 98404.
    2. The food bank was issued a business license.
    3. The food bank is located in a mix use zone (urx).
    4. There has never been any drug use or any other type of illegal behavior at the food bank. It is well organized, the people stand in line out of the right a way and there are no vehicles blocking the alley way. Further you stated that you witnessed illegal activity yourself. You live in the community and yet did not call the police????
    5. As far as the alley-way. The food bank was cleaning up the area but it is not responsible for the alley way or other’s trash.
    6. Ms. Blue has reached out to her neighbors and the local churches and has received positive responses. In fact she gives food to the local church and other churches in the area for their members. To my knowledge she has attended meetings (east and dome top). In fact I believe it was Ms. Blue who reached out to both groups first.
    I think is it is really sad that people have chosen to make comments which are not only not true but just nasty. Clearly, you do not know Ms. Blue. It is easy to try to attack someone’s character and not identify yourself. She has done nothing but try to help feed the people in our community. I invite you to take the time to actually get to know Ms. Blue like I have or at least identify yourself so that you can be held accountable for your false statements. Just because ones say something is a fact does not make it factual. Instead of attacking Ms. Blue, maybe a better use of your time would be helping Ms. Blue deal feed our neighbors. She is always looking for a few good volunteers.

  10. TacomaMinds says:

    I think I can positively say I speak for the entire Eastside when expressing the gratitude we have for the food Ms. Blue has been passing out and her work to get it to the people. She isn’t under attack here we just want honest answers to simple questions. She has been offered help for a new distribution site from the Tacoma Rescue Mission but wants no part of the focus being shifted off of her name and building. I found out that dometop neighborhood alliance contacted Ms. Blue way back in April but the support of such a neighborhood group wasn’t needed at that point. Interesting how she is now on the neighborhood group speaking tour and has gone to several this month. Food recipients are instructed by Ms. Blue herself to write letters to the city and police department telling them to, “Kiss their butt.” Very professional. All of us that see through this process know that the rezoning she is looking for is worded to approve the building to be constructed and used as a sex offender housing facility, an addiction halfway house, a homeless shelter, etc… She has experience with these and is aware of the funding she will get. The current tenants will be evicted and a whole new cityscape will unfold. This is the exact site we worked so hard to clean up and squash illegal activity for the past 20 years. Those of you that see this as Eastside neighbors disagreeing with hungry families that is completely untrue. We see what is possible from someone who hasn’t been forthcoming with their intentions so far. Feeding families out of a legal building is what we support. Feeding families out of an alley in a garage with no proper facilities is what we are not about to stand behind and would be disappointed if our city officials crumbled and caved in with pressure from anyone seeking to force their way. Rezoning is not the answer to this issue. Removing this event from the alley and moving it to a reasonable place is surely a more logical solution if feeding the community is her mission. If rezoning the structure for another purpose why hide your intentions and mislead the community Ms. Blue?

  11. dinseattle says:

    TPD has been called in several times to deal with “situations”. Call and ask. This is the last thing the eastside needs. They already have enough issues of their own and the community does not need additional problems. What’s wrong with doing this at the Rescue Mission? From what I understand, the welfare office gives out free bus passes to the poor, so it isn’t like they can’t get there for free and back. Something’s just off with this whole situation. Why does it need to be there? It just doesn’t make any sense and what is wrong with the current food bank that Tacoma already has? Yes, there is prostitution and drug activities going on around that area. Go sit there someday and just people watch. It’s very entertaining and no charge! You don’t even need cable!

  12. mckinleyresidence says:

    I lived in this area for years. The problems in this area did not just start with the food bank. Lets be honest people. Tacomaminds, this sounds very personal with you. Why are so defensive and hostile or amid about making the food bank go away.?

    I live in this area and the food bank has been a welcome site. I have witnessed the wonderful things they are doing there myself. When I first read about this in the newspaper, I went down to the food bank and stood in line to see for myself what was happening. What I witnessed was a well organized effort to feed people. Ms. Blue came out and welcome everyone to the food bank, updated people on what the status was and told people that they could write to the city about their experience at the food bank and then prayed for the people. She never used any curse words in fact I believe she is a christian. She was very professional.

    After, going through the line, I spoke to Ms. Blue about the food bank. Its clear to me that her heart and motives are pure which is to provide food to people who need it. Maybe those of you who are spending time questioning her motives should take the time to look in the mirror. What’s your motive in trying to get a food bank closed which is helping people in our community and is very much needed? Would it not be a better alternative to help find a solution?

    Isn’t the reason why the food bank is on Mckinley hill is beause there is no other food bank there? Why would you force people to walk down the hill and a mile to go to Rescue Mission? and then they would have to walk back up the hill with their foods in bags?

    As far as re-zoning, of her building, I questioned her about that also, and she said no. She had alot to say about sex offenders as an attorney. I dont think she even likes them based on her responses.
    Further as an investor, why would she want to change her zoning? She is heavily invested in the area. What I learned is that she is asking for a clarfication, not a re-zoning for the building in which the food bank is using which is donated by her.

    As far as the police being called to the area, the POLICE is always on 34th and Mckinley. That does not mean that they were called there because of the food bank. I called the the police department, and they told me that have been called to the apartments, the houses next doors, apartment buildings etc. Is the food bank the cause of this? Of course not. Futher they told me that the crime rate on mckinley hill is the lowest that it has ever been in the last year. Tthe food bank should recieve credit for that as it has been their a year and helps reduce the crime rate. Food bank nationally are know for helping reduce crime not increase crime.

    My point is this. At the end of the day, it is clear to me that maybe the people who are spending so much energy trying to close this food bank are the ones who we should inquire of their motives because from what I see is a young lady who is spending her resources, time and energey trying to help a group a people and is very committed. From what I read on the internet about her, she surely do not need money or government grants.

    So lets look at solutions. My question to you Tacomamind and others, I see Ms.Blue invited you to contact her. Have you? I did and she was very open and answered every questions I asked of her. Maybe you should reach out to her like I did, instead of making untrue statements.

  13. I am a former resident of the East side of Tacoma from 1990-1994, eventually owned a home in the Hilltop area, fell on hard times and then moved back to NYC. My son and I lived in Tacoma for only 9 years total. After growing up in the South Bronx, NY, Tacoma seemed like paradise. There are many things I love about Tacoma, and after being away for twelve years, I moved back in December 2010.

    After driving/returning to Tacoma, I stayed with friends for 5 months prior to getting my own apartment in University Place, WA. I’ve been unemployed for almost a year, and thought I’d give “The City of Destiny” one more shot. The outpouring of support I received from friends and local churches has been overwhelming. When I had a good job for a few years, I bought a brand new car 3 years ago. My car payments are not much less than my rent, and because of the amount I receive from unemployment benefits, I qualify for only $16 a month in food stamps. I don’t drink, smoke or do drugs – never have. In the 6 months I’ve been here, I bought 4 shirts and a pair of pants to interview in. After paying utilities and other household expenses, I can barely afford to put gas in my car. Even with a little bit of college under my belt, it’s still hard to find full-time work in this economy. Hard times are hard times, and many of us have or will succumb to them eventually.

    Eloise’s Cooking Pot is a GODSEND. One of my friends told me about the place, and I’ve been going off and on for a couple of months now. The people I’ve stood in line with have been orderly, friendly, courteous, and conversational. Some of them live in shelters, their cars, or like myself, have their own apartment. It’s time for us to change our perception of the poor and/or homeless. My mother raised me with manners and class. I’ve worked in the human services field for years with people who have all degrees of mental illness. They’ve always treated me well. This food bank is scarce on food, but big on caring for the community. I don’t feel guilty for living just outside of the City limits and coming to ECP for help. I need to eat too, and my cupboards are far from full.

    I don’t know, nor do I want to know, all the politics involved with opening and operating a food bank. I’m concerned about the backlash from SOME people (don’t care where they’re from or where they live) who have done nothing but condemn the efforts of Ms. Ahndrea Blue to feed a handful of disadvantaged people. If anyone is concerned about helping the needy, please lend a helping hand. I’ve volunteered at soup kitchens, churches and a girl scout troop. Once I am employed again, I will be donating food to ECP. Why on God’s green earth do a few lowlifes feel the need to vandalize a little storefront operation that is open ONLY 6 hours a week? The empty bar next door has not had a broken window since I’ve been utilizing the food bank. I will do whatever I can, in my power, to help protect the exterior and the contents of this food bank. The Salvation Army food bank doesn’t experience this kind of treatment. Eloise’s Cooking Pot should have more support from the community it is serving.

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