food banks | KNKX

food banks

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX (file)

Since the onset of the pandemic, food insecurity rates have more than doubled in our state. That’s according to researchers at the University of Washington who have just compiled the results from their first round of a statewide survey. 

It was done this summer in cooperation with Washington State University and Tacoma Community College, as well as partners in local, county and state governments.

Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Washington has faced and met unprecedented demand for food assistance. The economic crisis brought on by the new coronavirus caused the number of people in Washington seeking food assistance to double overnight, starting in early March.

It’s now almost 2 million, according to a new report from the state’s largest independent hunger relief agency, Northwest Harvest.

To meet the growing need for emergency food services amid the pandemic, the National Guard has helped Northwest Harvest fill boxes to distribute to people in need. Troops are expected to help at a new Food Lifeline warehouse in SoDo, which opens Monday.
Parker Miles Blohm / KNKX

Demand at food banks has already doubled as more people face unemployment in the region or need more meals at home because schools are closed. And the demand is expected to continue climbing.

That has put additional strain on the organizations supplying food banks, as they respond to new conditions amid the coronavirus.

 Food Lifeline Hunger Solution Center warehouse in Seattle's South Park neighborhood. Staff are prototyping emergency food boxes that will soon be the primary means for donated food distribution statewide.
Aaron Czyzewski / Food Lifeline

An estimated 1.6 million people are expected to turn to Washington's food banks by the end of this week, to keep from going hungry. That’s about twice as many as normal. Federal aid to address that new need is not expected to be available until July.

So, the state is asking for help raising about $13 million dollars — to keep the shelves stocked and people from going hungry, despite the challenges created by the new coronavirus.

Jason Nash stocks shelves in preparation for customers at SODO Community Market on Monday, June 24.
Paula Wissel / KNKX

Northwest Harvest has opened a storefront grocery store in Seattle's SODO neighborhood. The hunger relief agency says the market, where customers shop for free, is a replacement for the recently closed Cherry Street Food Bank in the city's First Hill neighborhood. The organization's goal is to provide a regular shopping experience for food bank clients and to destigmatize food insecurity.

GRAYS HARBOR COUNTY, WASHINTON — Aberdeen and Hoquiam high schools have been rivals on the football field since 1906. Hoquiam won this year’s game, back in September, 28-7. The Grizzlies had an undefeated regular season, with the first loss coming in a playoff game on Nov. 17. But that’s not the only rivalry that plays out every fall.

seattle city council members during a meeting
Ted S. Warren / AP

The Seattle City Council has publicly opposed a proposal by the Trump Administration that one council member says is already having a chilling effect on immigrant communities. 

Ashley Gross / KPLU

This time of year, many of us have been buying pasta or cans of soup to contribute to food drives. But food banks say they could use donations that are more protein-rich. That’s exactly what SeaShare, a Bainbridge Island nonprofit, delivers in a unique way.