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.