Most of you know Food Lifeline for our core work - capturing good food and providing it to food banks, meal programs, and shelters. We are also Western Washington’s source of research, data, and ideas on hunger issues.
Why is research so important to ending hunger?
Research keeps us relevant. Many factors change who needs food assistance and how food gets to people in need. For example, changes in funding for a public food assistance programs, like free and reduced school lunches, or manufacturers selling liquidators the dented cans they used to donate to food banks. Our research keeps us up to speed on these changes so our programs can flex and adjust to changing demands for and supplies of food assistance.
Research informs decision makers. Food Lifeline is regularly contacted by elected officials, decision makers and the media seeking the latest hunger data in their districts. We want these decision makers to have the latest and most accurate information, as they are responsible for funding the public programs, like SNAP, which provide 85% of the hunger relief in our communities. Without adequate funding for these programs our food banks & meal programs face higher demand.
Research helps our agencies. Food Lifeline provides food to more than 300 food banks, meal programs, and shelters throughout Western Washington. By gathering current data we help them spot changes in the clients they are seeing and point to new ways to help them. For example, we’ve been noting a rise in food bank visits by seniors in Western Washington. Sharing this trend with our network lets them know that they are not the only agency seeing more seniors and to make adjustments to the food they provide.
We’ve made it even easier for you to stay up to date on the latest data, research and trends in hunger here in the ‘Hunger Research & Data' section.