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Lessons Learned From Last Year, Recovery Looking Forward

When the state first shutdown over a year ago, our team at Food Lifeline found ourselves at the forefront of an unprecedented crises. The number of food insecure individuals in Washington doubled to 1.6 million. We needed to adapt not only to meet record demand, but to ensure we could sustain our efforts in the years ahead, as we forge the long path to recovery.  Our emergency response brought into focus the disparities communities face and the disproportionate impact of hunger on Black, Indigenous populations, migrant and communities of color. We will lean heavily into these learnings as we focus our energy and future investments to better serve western Washington while prioritizing efforts toward systemic change in the root causes of hunger, including poverty, racial inequity, and social injustice.  Read more in our latest Covid-19 Emergency Response Report.

Read COVID-19 Response Report

Food Lifeline Continues to Respond to the Covid-19 Pandemic

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 annually. With the economic hardship caused by the pandemic, the number of food-insecure people in our state doubled to 1.6 million people, peaking at an estimated 2.2 million by December 2020.

To meet this need, Food Lifeline ramped up operations to provide a record number of meals to our community, averaging the equivalent of 197,000 meals a day at the peak. As vaccines are widely distributed and restrictions ease, we continue to work with our agency partners to safely distribute food to those facing hunger. Through this effort, Food Lifeline has developed new strategies including partners with 56 new food pantries and programs to expand our network into some of the most underserved areas of western Washington.  We’re prioritizing new investments and program expansion into counties most effected by food insecurity, and working to expand our freezer/cooler capacity, all to meet our mission of providing nutritious food to the many people facing hunger today.

Private philanthropy has been essential to fund our operations, enabling Food Lifeline to stay strong, stable, and capable of delivering food relief to the community throughout this response. Crisis-based donations however are not enough.  We must sustain and grow donor support to meet the continuing need.  Recovery will take years, and your support is necessary, now more than ever. Food Lifeline’s Staff and Board remain undaunted in our mission to end hunger through feeding people experiencing hunger today, while working to solve hunger for the future. We invite everyone to support 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 has phased out.  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.

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