Did you know that, right now, an estimated 1.6 million Washingtonians are at risk of not having enough food to eat.
That’s double the number of people than before the outbreak of the novel coronavirus and that number may continue to rise as hundreds of thousands of Washingtonians struggle with joblessness and limited resources.
As demand is soaring, donations to food banks are down by 70 percent.
Now, more than ever, we need to help one another. And nothing is more essential and sustaining than having enough food. Whether it be dropping off food donations at a food bank drive through or fundraising for a food bank, there are still many ways to lend your support and and volunteer safely and selflessly.
“We are a community and giving to take care of each other is another way we are all in this together,” says Jolyn Mason of the University of Washington Combined Fund Drive. “This is the time to think about the most vulnerable members of our community and give to make sure that the services they rely on are available.”
Mason encourages people to make an extra gift to their favorite charity if they can and/or consider increasing an existing gift. For example, an additional $2.00 a month to Northwest Harvest provides an additional 72+ meals over the year.
Additionally, the Washington Food Fund—Charity Code 1482885—was established by Governor Inslee to support Food Lifeline, Northwest Harvest and Second Harvest and use funds to distribute food to hundreds of food banks across the state from our cities to our most rural communities.
Some food banks are still operating, just with different hours. This means they can still help hungry people within our community during this outbreak. Mason says Volunteer Match & the United Way of King County both have virtual volunteering opportunities while lots of feeding programs still need help providing food and food banks still need volunteers to sort and deliver groceries.
Let’s work together to feed our community and spread kindness to all. In addition to the outlets above, here are some other organizations you can consider supporting to help keep our wider Washington community strong and healthy.
Their mission is leading the fight for hungry people statewide to have access to nutritious food while respecting their dignity and promoting good health. They have a vision to end hunger in Washington.
Now more than ever, Northwest Harvest is leading efforts to address increased food insecurity across Washington from the virus outbreak. As grocery stores go bare, there are even less available food for those in the community struggling with hunger and poverty.
Join the COVID-19 Hunger Response Fund to reach the $5 million goal as they have already reached their half way mark!
As Northwest Harvest says, “We are most powerful when we stand together”.
University District Food Bank works to help prevent hunger in Northeast Seattle neighborhoods. Each week, more than 1,300 different families receive groceries they need to prepare nutritionally balanced meals at home.
During this time, they are encouraging social distancing by creating and providing pre-made boxes of food. They are still operating at normal hours; however they need community support to make their work possible.
Donate online, over the phone, or even mail a check or money order to them!
Ballard Food Bank’s mission is to bring food and hope to our neighbors because there can be enough for everyone.
To keep all clients, volunteers and staff healthy during this time, they have updated how they operate!
Now they provide home delivery which would drop off food at people’s front doors. In addition, they have drive thru food banks three times a week where there is no need to park nor leave your car. There will also be no-cook bags/groceries for the homeless at the side door of the food bank for pick up. Finally, there will be weekend food for kids for your child.
With all these updates, please donate to help out our local food banks!
Ever wonder if you could fully interact with nature in the city?
City Fruit highlights the importance of urban fruit trees as a valuable community resource. However, fruits often go unused because people do not know how to properly harvest them, how to best use them, or simply neglect them. Without proper care, perfectly healthy urban trees can catch preventable diseases or be eaten by pests.
Donate: During the COVID-19 outbreak, there are still ways to help out these foundations by donating money. CityFruit accepts any amount and appreciates anyone’s help during this time.
Interested in helping members of the community reach their culinary career goals?
Are you passionate about disrupting poverty and nourishing communities with food and job training?
FareStart, a Seattle non-profit, is a culinary job training and placement program for homeless and disadvantaged individuals. They offer adult and youth culinary programs to food service apprenticeship programs. They also own restaurants and provide catering services to the community. Since 1992 it has provided opportunities for nearly 7,000 people to transform their lives, while also serving over six million meals to disadvantaged people.
Ways to get involved:
Donate: Now more than ever, FareStart needs the help of the community. There are a couple ways to donate:
–Join the Giving Table: as a Giving Table member, your monthly gift will provide the permanence these culinary students are striving for.
–Join the Circle of Impact: Individuals that donate more than $1,000 and corporations that donate more than $5,000 are invited to join the Circle of Impact to receive recognition and meet new people
The perfect opportunity to give back to the UW community is by helping our UW Farm.
As UW Bothell campus sustainability coordinator Alexa Russo says, “The goal is to put what we grow into the campus food system. Right now, we either donate what we produce to Husky Pantry or volunteers and members of the garden committee eat it.”
From tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, strawberries, corn, beets, radishes, and much more, the UW Farm at Bothell produces so many colorful, healthy vegetables to share to the greater community.
Ways to get involved:
- Picking, washing, packing produce for campus dining, CSA or the food pantry
- Starting seeds and making soil blocks
- Preparing beds for planting, including moving compost, tillage, making raised beds
- Weeding by hand and using various farm tools
- Direct seeding and transplanting in the farm plots including using organic fertilizers
- Pruning perennials
- Installing Drip Tape
- Making flower bouquets or caring for the farm’s flowers
- Other tasks related to maintaining the farm’s produce production and management of perennial plants
More details on the updated dates of orientation and volunteer requirements are here!
Do you want to help feed the homeless population in the Seattle area?
If so, Bread of Life Mission is a great place to get involved.
Bread of life Mission is a non-denominational, Christian, social services organization, which provides critically needed goods and services to the homeless, poor, and needy of Washington State without regard to race, color, sexual orientation, creed, national origin, or religion.
Even during the COVID-19 crisis, Bread of Life Mission is still offering the community the following:
- Hot meals, fresh fruit and drinks every day on to go containers
- Emergency shelter (with updated hours)
- Daily mail and locker services
- Remote counseling and classes – we have partnered with local mental health providers to continue offering counseling online and by phone
- Continued services through our LifeChange and Veteran’s Programs
Let’s help out by remotely giving back to them. Buy $2.05 Easter dinner meals for the people who need it the most during the time. Donate however many meals you can here!
However you choose to help, you’ll be happy you did!