Food Lifeline Continues to Respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic

More than 65,000 emergency food boxes are being distributed each week to families in need

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and our state’s statewide stay-at-home order in March, Food Lifeline had to quickly adapt to dramatically increased demand for food. For perspective, hunger relief organizations serve about 850,000 people in Washington in a typical month. With the economic hardship caused by the pandemic, the number of food-insecure people in our state has doubled to 1.6 million people with a high likelihood that it could reach more than 2 million people before the crisis begins to subside.

To meet this need, Food Lifeline has ramped up operations to provide a record number of meals to our community. We are actively working with our 300 agency partners to identify safe ways to distribute food directly to them so they can continue their work of supporting those facing hunger. In addition to the increased support of our partner network, Food Lifeline is also serving as a lead agency in a state-wide hunger relief effort. In coordination with the Governor Jay Inslee’s office, Second Harvest and Northwest Harvest, we are building emergency food boxes full of nutritious, shelf-stable food and distributing these boxes to every county in the state each week to reach those most in need. Through this effort, Food Lifeline has developed new strategies including, large scale emergency food box distributions at malls and college campus, a home delivery system for those unable to leave their home, targeted support to schools and public housing authorities and emergency mobile food pantries, all to meet our mission of serving the many people experiencing hunger today.

Private philanthropy will be essential to fund our ongoing operations, enabling Food Lifeline to stay strong, stable and capable of delivering food relief to the community throughout this response. Our needs are especially acute on the front end of this effort. Food Lifeline’s Staff and Board have never been more committed to our mission of feeding people experiencing hunger today, while working to solve hunger for the future. We are singularly focused on this disaster response, and we invite everyone to join us on this important journey.

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Community Resources

Currently Open WA Food Banks & Meal Programs

This map includes currently open food banks and meal programs across Washington.

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Home Delivery

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we want to share that our emergency food box home delivery program will phase out at the end of July.  However, we are pleased to share that United Way of King County will offer food box home delivery in partnership with select King County food banks and DoorDash. The home delivery program will offer weekly, recurring delivery service sourcing food from neighborhood food banks rather than centrally from Food Lifeline. Clients will have access to additional types of items in boxes, including more fresh produce. We hope that this change does not inconvenience you, and encourage anyone experiencing food needs to sign-up. To request home delivery orders, please call 2-1-1 or use this online form.

Washington State Emergency Resources

Download this brochure for a list of emergency resources in Washington state.

Summer Meals for Youth

Summer meals are available for youth ages 1 – 18 at parks, community centers, and schools throughout Washington state. All sites offer grab and go meals that you can pick up and eat at home. The child does not need to be present to pick up a meal, and some sites may provide multiple meals at once. To find a nearby summer meal site, please visit United Way of King County’s website.

Learn more

Pandemic EBT

Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) is a new, one-time food benefit for ALL children in Washington who received free or reduced-price school meals this past school year. Any child who was eligible to receive a subsidized school meal – including those who attended schools where meals were free for all students before students closed – can get P-EBT. Eligible kids who received meals from school this spring or get Summer Meals are still eligible for P-EBT because these are separate programs. Applying for, or using, P-EBT will not affect a child’s or family members’ immigration status, and it is not subject to public charge.

Families who receive Basic Food (food stamps) do not need to apply for P-EBT because those food benefits were automatically added to existing EBT cards in early July. Families whose children are eligible for free or reduced-priced school meals but not enrolled in Basic Food must complete a simple application to get their P-EBT benefits. To apply online, go to:; to apply by phone, call DSHS’ Customer Service Contact Center at 877-501-2233 (interpreters available), 8 a.m. – 5 p.m., Tuesdays – Fridays. The deadline to complete applications is August 31 at 5 p.m.

To learn more, there is more information and translated materials here.

Latest News

Free Food This Week

By | COVID-19
Food Lifeline will continue distributing thousands of emergency food boxes to anyone needing help keeping food on the table during this crisis. These boxes contain fresh produce and assorted dairy...
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