The Pandemic has stressed the need for outdoors spaces for all Washingtonians to safely recreate and gather in community with each other. It has also highlighted many inequalities rooted in economic disparity, one being food security. As the Pandemic enters its ninth month, food insecurity is at historically high levels in the state of Washington, approximately 2.2 million Washingtonians are food insecure. One out of every 10 King County residents doesn’t have enough food to eat according to an August 2020 King County report, and as we near 2021 one in every five Washingtonians could be facing hunger.
The Emergency Feeding Program based out of Renton, WA provides over 600,000 meals a year to people in need throughout King County. Their mission is to provide a nutritional response to people in need of immediate food assistance by collaborating with partner agencies to ensure that no one will go hungry tonight.
The Emergency Feeding Program began as a partnership between the Black United Clergy for Action and the Church Council of Greater Seattle and has been serving their community since 1977. Their food program model was created by Mary Lou Weiner and designed to provide a three-day supply of food for individuals and households experiencing hunger. The model has evolved to provide multiple food packages that are culturally sensitive, inclusive of special needs diets, and have no-cook menus for those experiencing homelessness. Currently under the direction of Executive Director, Glenn Turner, the Emergency Food Program has been able to address food insecurity in the community and lower barriers to access of healthy fresh produce and food for so many. They currently support Social Services, schools, seniors, and individual community members through four programs: Drive-Thru Pre-Packed Bags, Satellite Fresh Markets, Bag Food Distribution, and Community Food Pantry.
If you are able please consider donating to the Emergency Feeding Program to support their amazing work in the community. If you would like to support other food banks across Washington state please visit Artist Trust’s Food Bank Map to find a location close to you.