Lily Coaches’ Fill the Bus food drive strikes positive note in community

Lily Coaches hit a home run with its first food drive.

The Bothell, Washington-based operator launched a Fill the Bus food drive in partnership with the Bellingham Bells, and the Bellingham Whatcom County Tourism.

Lily Coaches owner Bryce Snyder stands next to one of his buses that was used for a food drive.

They used the coach wrapped two years ago for the collegiate summer baseball team, and gave away two free tickets for next year’s season to those who donated to the effort.

Lily Coaches is in the second year of a five-year contract with the Bellingham Bells. The team’s season has been put on hold. It was the operator’s first food drive, says Bryce Snyder, a driver who started Lily Coaches two years ago. 

Food bank shelves running low

The Aug. 15 food drive couldn’t have come at a better time, because the shelves at the Bellingham Food Bank were getting low. Snyder promoted the event on his business’ website, a local radio station and the local newspaper.

“We probably had more than 300 cars show up,” Snyder said. “The food bank gave us a list of what they really needed. They were so happy  because the one thing that they are always short on are diapers.”

Lily Coaches initially reached out to the food pantry in April, but the nonprofit didn’t take the company up on its offer until summer as the pandemic continued to drag on.

Another drive possible

Bellingham is near the Canadian border — about 80 miles north of Bothell, a suburb about 20 miles north of Seattle.

Snyder says the company may do another drive before Christmas to collect food and gifts if his buses aren’t busy. He’s glad to find a way to help others who are struggling. His three buses have been essentially parked since mid-March.

“I was supposed to have gone to the Seahawks game but they just canceled the first three home games,” Snyder said. “We just go day by day. We can’t predict the future right now.”


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