Relief is on the way for Washington food banks struggling to keep up with demand
House Bill 1784, a hunger relief bill, is making its way to Gov. Jay Inslee’s office for his signature. The bill will earmark $28 million to hunger relief organizations to address food insecurity.
Northwest Harvest’s community market in Seattle’s SoDo neighborhood opens its doors three days a week. Here, people fill their bags with grocery staples and fresh produce.
Christina Wong, the organization’s director for public policy, said donations have not kept up with demand for food.
“Part of the challenge is that grocery donations have also been down as people are challenged to deal with higher costs of food for their own household tables as well,” Wong said.
Wong notes part of what’s driving demand is people on Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, a federal food assistance program also known as SNAP, lost their emergency aid in February.
“That end of emergency SNAP allotments doesn’t mean that there’s a reduction in need,” she said. “If anything, it just means people have less money to shop for food.”
Wong said the state funds will help keep food banks stocked for the next few months.