WA Hunger Facts
- Washington is the 23rd hungriest state in the nation.
- 1 in 5 kids in Washington state lives in a household that struggles to put food on the table.
- 1 in 7 Washingtonians relies on SNAP (food stamps), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is severely threatened by budget cuts. Half of all people on SNAP are kids.
- The majority of working-age Washingtonians who live in poverty are actively working or looking for work.
- Since the start of the recession in 2008, Washington has cut more than $12 billion in discretionary spending from our state’s operating budget, all in the areas of public safety, higher education and basic needs services.
- 1 in 5 Washingtonians relies on their local food bank.
How We Fight Hunger
Northwest Harvest is the only non-profit food bank distributor operating statewide in Washington with a network of more than 380 food banks, meal programs and high-need schools. We provide more than 2 million meals every month and 34 million pounds each year to this network of emergency food providers.
With distribution centers in western, eastern, coastal and central Washington, Northwest Harvest reaches rural communities where people in need have limited access to adequate and nutritious food.
We require that Northwest Harvest food be given freely to anyone that asks, respecting their dignity while serving their need.
We are committed to high nutritional standards and purchase a significant share of our food to ensure a consistent supply of in-demand, nutritious products. Two-thirds of the food we provide is highly nutritious fruits and vegetables.
Northwest Harvest distributed more than 34 million pounds of food last year, setting a distribution record and allowing us to serve unprecedented numbers of hungry people.
Northwest Harvest’s hunger relief network is comprised of more than 380 food banks, meal programs and high-need schools as unique as the communities they serve.
Northwest Harvest operates the Three Squares program in nine school districts in Washington, providing food to over 50 public schools with high percentages of students participating in the free or reduced-price school meals program.
The Growing Connections program seeks to provide partner programs and community members with tools and resources that will increase their knowledge of farm-to-food bank (F2FB); to engage our partners and the broader community in F2FB activities; and to address current inefficiencies in F2FB efforts.
Kids Summer Food Club
Research shows that childhood hunger is linked to significant health problems in adulthood. Hungry kids have a tougher time concentrating and have more behavioral problems than those who are well nourished. School meal programs help bridge the gap, but what happens during summer vacation?
Cherry Street Food Bank
Besides providing food for over more than 380 partner programs, Northwest Harvest operates the Cherry Street Food Bank in downtown Seattle. Cherry Street is one of the busiest food banks in the state, serving as many as 6,000 people each week.