Need for Food Assistance in State May Peak as Early as August
As the need for food assistance in Washington continues to increase – and is expected to peak in the coming months – the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation responded by recently contributing $1 million to the WA Food Fund, a statewide relief program that has raised since its inception in April more than $8 million, which is being distributed to food banks.
“Food assistance is a critical need for people in Washington, with data indicating the economic impacts of COVID-19 will make food and nutrition insecurity an ever-increasing challenge over the summer,” said Paul Keating, on behalf of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. “We are grateful to the many volunteers, donors, and leaders that support food banks and other food programs across our region, and humbled to work with other funders to provide meals and much needed services to help strengthen communities.”
Since the COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to close in early March, more than 1.3 million people have filed for unemployment in Washington. According to a study released last month by Northwest Harvest, an estimated 2.2 million people in the state are at risk of going hungry and the gap between demand for food assistance and supply may peak as soon as August 2020, depending on how quickly the economy recovers.
The WA Food Fund is managed by Philanthropy Northwest and funds are directed to three organizations that supply food banks and pantries across the state: Food Lifeline, Second Harvest and Northwest Harvest. To contribute to the WA Food Fund, visit www.wafoodfund.org.
“As joblessness hits our state, we need to acknowledge that it disproportionately affects communities of color and how racism has long contributed to food insecurity,” said Kiran Ahuja, CEO of Philanthropy Northwest. “Fighting hunger in our state is one way to address the racial inequities that COVID-19 magnified, and we’re fortunate that the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation shares that concern and is helping families in need.”
About WA Food Fund
WA Food Fund is a coordinated, statewide food relief fund designed to help people in need across Washington. It is managed by Philanthropy Northwest and donations are directed to three organizations which supply food pantries across the state: Food Lifeline; Northwest Harvest; and Second Harvest.