Hunger Immortal: The First
of the West Seattle Food Bank,
Ronald F. Marshall
This is no ordinary local history book.
After thirty years the history of the West Seattle Food Bank has
finally been written – and it is far more than a timeline of
dates and places. Instead it is filled with corruption, death,
crime and secrets, but also great kindness, dedication,
sacrifice and generosity. It is a story that also is filled with
many lucky breaks – including the largesse of the famous
comedian, Robin Williams.
says that’s one of the reasons he took the last fours years to
work on it in his spare time – because of his fascination with
luck. Lucky breaks can make such a big difference for the good.
And so we can hardly help be interested in how they happen and
what we can do to make them more frequent.
One of the biggest reasons Marshall gives for writing the book, however,
is Earl Allen Vick (1932-1996). Vick was born and raised in
West Seattle – a cranky old guy, who died a loner.
But when he died there was a will, and in it he gave the vast
bulk of his estate to the food bank – which amounted to
$335,000.00. When this happened, no one knew why. So Marshall set out in this
history to find the answer to that question. While he never
finds the answer to his question, he does come up with six
approximate reasons for Vick putting the food bank in his will.
also uncovers important information to show that the food bank
started in 1983 rather than 1981 as had been previously thought.
He also painstakingly shows how the food
bank moved from location to location – as a nomadic food bank,
as it was called – until it finally built its own facility where
it now is. He recounts much of that story on the building of the
food bank’s permanent home, and the key people involved in the
This book is a slice of Americana. Every resident of West Seattle should own one. Sprinkled throughout the
book are insights into history and literature, economics and
politics. There are over twenty photos in the book – some of
them of historic vintage.
has donated the book to the food bank. So by spending $30 to buy
a copy of it, all the profits will go to help feed our neighbors
in need during the 30th anniversary of the West Seattle Food
Bank. Don’t miss out on this chance to make a difference in
West Seattle – in the spirit of Earl Allen Vick.