Emergency Feeding Program of Seattle & King County Programs
In an average year, EFP distributes some 24,000 nutritionally-balanced emergency food bags - the equivalent of more than 350,000 meals - to some 65,000 of our hungry neighbors, making a real difference in the lives of needy, often desperate, individuals and families.
Because no two households are the same, EFP packs and distributes 15 different varieties of emergency food bags. The majority of these bags contain enough groceries to provide a household with a two-day supply (breakfast, lunch and dinner) of high-quality, nutritionally-balanced food. Because households vary in size, three sizes of basic packs - small, medium and large - are prepared. And because each recipient is unique, with individual nutritional needs and food preferences, EFP also makes available bags designed for those requiring low-sodium, low-sugar and vegan foods, in addition to Latino, Asian, and East African bags, "no-cook" packs for homeless individuals and families, and the popular "Snack Pack" developed for and with the help of homeless teens. EFP's two varieties of infant bags - one packed with iron-enriched infant formula and the other with jars of strained fruit, vegetables and meat, and rice cereal - are designed to provide a full week's nutrition for a growing baby. All of EFP's bags were developed in consultation with qualified nutritionists.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The sad fact is that an estimated 250,000 individuals in King County face the daily risk of going hungry. Of them, 86,000 are children. That's 22 percent of the children in King County. Nearly one-quarter of our kids live in households struggling to get by on budgets stretched so tight that they cannot really know from day to day if they will be able to put adequate nutritious food on the family. Many of these families are signed up with a local food bank. Many also receive food stamps. But even with these resources in place, there are times when the pantry is simply empty and they have no money to buy food. When that happens in King County, there is an additional resource called the Emergency Feeding Program.
With cuts continuing in both the state and federal social safety nets, this community is looking more and more to programs like EFP to help ensure that no parent watches as their child goes to school hungry, that no elderly person's health is jeopardized by the lack of a well-balanced diet, and that no family goes hungry, skipping meals to make ends meet.
EFP has met this growing need through the generosity of its supporters - both volunteer groups that join us to pack emergency food bags and our generous financial donors.
EFP has been nationally recognized for its unique, collaborative, and successful method of service. In 1999, EFP received the Phillip Morris Regional Helping the Helpers Award; in 1998, the National Council of Churches Recognition Award for Ecumenical/Interfaith Service; in 2001, the Seattle Human Services Coalition Outstanding Program Award; in 2009, the "Mayor's End Hunger Award" as Outstanding Food Program from the City of Seattle, and 2010, the Community Service Award from the Loren Miller Bar Association for "exceptional contributions to Seattle's African American Community.