Encouraging Food Donation
State Budget Investment for Hunger Relief
On October 30 food banks and hunger relief organizations across Washington sent a letter to Governor Jay Inslee requesting that he include $25 million in his 2024 State Operating Budget to help fund large-scale procurement of donated Washington commodities for hunger relief efforts statewide.
Use Food Well Washington Recommendations
Use Food Well Washington Plan – Washington State Department of Ecology
Wasted Food Reduction Act of 2019, by Rep. Beth Doglio
1114-S2.E HBR FBR 19.pdf (wa.gov)
Organics Management Law of 2022, by Rep. Joe Fitzgibbon
1799-S2.E HBR FBR 22 (wa.gov)
Pacific Coast Collaborative
Reducing Wasted Food – Pacific Coast Collaborative
Washington State Department of Agriculture
Food Rescue | Washington State Department of Agriculture
Highlights of this Investment
- Washington growers and producers produce food in abundance and have incredible amounts that end up unsold. Much is captured by donation and diverted to food banks, but a greater amount is lost, including to landfills.
- We have the potential to divert up to 60 million more pounds of Washington agricultural commodities–a win for Washington families, a win for Washington farmers and food producers, and a win for the climate.
- We are requesting $25 million to fund harvesting and transportation costs associated with donated agricultural commodities. These are monies paid to Washington growers and producers for processing and packaging donated agricultural products in an acceptable size for food banks.
- This funding would allow an existing statewide, nonprofit food cooperative organization to scale up existing sourcing of donated produce, protein, and grain to send to Washington’s food bank distribution centers for redistribution throughout the state’s more than 600 hunger relief agencies.
- This investment would nearly double the donated surplus food available for hunger relief efforts statewide – food that may otherwise be lost – at a time when it is needed most. It is estimated that an additional 52.5 million pounds of produce and up to 10 million pounds of highly desired items like meat, seafood, eggs, and dairy products are available to be distributed throughout the state’s existing food banking networks.