In addition to providing more than 35 million pounds of food to nearly 300 food banks, meal programs and shelters each year, Food Lifeline advocates to support public nutrition and food programs, to reduce poverty and to end hunger.
Anyone in our community can find themselves in need. Educating our community and lawmakers about the face of hunger and those in need, helps to remove the stigma for those who might be too embarrassed or ashamed to reach out for help. By advoacting for anti-hunger and nutrition programs you are not only protecting vital programs, but also giving a strong voice to those struggling to provide for themselves or their family.
Share your story! "My single mom provided a loving home. She worked hard and did her best to ensure we had what we needed. That’s why when her hard work wasn’t enough to always put food on the table, she humbly supplemented with food stamps, food banks, and the free lunch program at my school." Read more and learn how you can share your story.
Hunger is real and it can happen to anyone in Washington State. Children, seniors and the working poor can, and do, struggle with hunger. Food Lifeline and other hunger relief organizations, along with state public nutrition programs, provide vital meals to those in need.
Help end hunger in your district by supporting critical anti-hunger and nutrition programs this session:
As Congress attempts to resolve our nation’s long-term financial challenges, Food Lifeline is urging our Congressional lawmakers to protect public food and nutrition assistance programs that provide a vital safety net, particularly during these continuing difficult economic times.
Food Lifeline supports funding for the following policies and programs:
Read more about our funding priorities and support for important programs in the 2012 Farm Bill.
Every two years Food Lifeline completes our Missing Meals Report, an in depth study that reveals how many additional meals are needed to ensure that all low-income people in Western Washington have the nutritious meals they need to thrive.
Since the last set of Missing Meals data was gathered in 2008, the number of low-income people in Western Washington rose from 902,460 to 1,340,861, and the number of missing meals in Western Washington increased from 163 million to 291 million, an increase of over 127 million missing meals.
In 2011, hunger relief organizations like Food Lifeline provided 72.3 million meals while public nutrition programs provided 410 million, an increase of 54.7 million and 263 million respectively, since 2008.
Hunger relief organizations, individuals, and local, state and federal public nutrition programs are working hard to ensure that no meal is missing. But the need is still great. What Missing Meals tells us is that hunger is real, there is a growing unmet need, and that few are immune from hunger.
Read the Missing Meals Report released in May 2012.
Hunger in America is a nationwide study that provides data on who is accessing food banks and meal programs, as well as the needs and challenges of the programs themselves. The study is conducted every 4 years though the leadership of Feeding America. Food Lifeline is able to provide detailed data for Western Washington and Washington State.
2010 Study Results:
The 2010 Hunger in America study provides compelling data from emergency food providers supported by Food Lifeline, and the individuals and families they serve.
"Map the Meal Gap" shows key factors affecting hungry families in Western Washington, and provides the following data for every county and congressional district in Western Washington and in the United States:
The percentage of the Western Washington population by county who is food insecure, meaning that they are unsure of where their next meal will come from.
The percentage of the food insecure population in Western Washington by county who do NOT qualify for federal nutrition programs and often must rely on assistance of organizations like Food Lifeline.
Additionally Map the Meal Gap shows that nearly one in four children are food insecure. This means that these individuals are unsure of the source of their next meal. The study provides the following data for Western Washington:
The State of Washington has a centralized website and contact information for the multiple programs serving hungry people in Washington.
If you find yourself struggling to provide food for yourself or your family, there is hope. Please click on the following links to access programs that can provide food, resources, and information. If you cannot find the information you need, or you simply don't know where to start, please contact Food Lifeline's public policy department for assistance.
Anyone in our community can find themselves in need. Educating our community and lawmakers about the face of hunger and those in need helps to remove the stigma for those who might be too embarrassed or ashamed to reach out for help. By advocating for anti-hunger and nutrition programs, you are not only protecting vital programs, but also giving a strong voice to those struggling to provide for themselves or their family.
Gina Clark, Director of Public Policy
Phone: 206-545-6600 ext. 3611
Gina brings over 10 years’ experience in public policy, government affairs and advocacy as a policy advisor, consultant and attorney. Gina tackles local, state and federal anti-hunger, nutrition and food policy issues and works with coalition partners to ensure vital safety net programs and funding are preserved. Gina is also responsible for policy research and legislative agendas, testifying at public hearings, educating lawmakers and the community about legislative issues, and overseas advocacy outreach. Please feel free to contact Gina at 206-545-6600, ext. 3611, if you have any policy-related questions or concerns, or to learn more about how you can get involved to end hunger in our state.
Katharine Ryan, Public Policy Coordinator
Phone: 206-545-6600 ext. 3625
Katharine Ryan grew up in Oregon earning her Bachelors degree in Political Science at the University of Oregon and a Master’s in Public Health at Portland State University. After working in health policy and as legislative aide to two State Representatives in Oregon, Katharine moved to Seattle. At Food Lifeline, Katharine works on state policy as well as managing the research efforts of the Public Policy Department.