Food Lifeline Programs
Hunger and poor nutrition contribute to health problems and hinder the viability of people of all ages. To address this, Food Lifeline takes an entrepreneurial approach to program development, creating programs that are innovative, designed to bring more resources to people in need and help build capacity to local agencies. Our programs help feed the people standing in line at the neighborhood food bank or meal program, connect our member agencies with resources to help shorten their lines and put strategies in place that prevent people from getting into line in the first place. Over 1 in 3 people served by Food Lifeline are children (261,742) and 95% of the food we distribute is donated.
Currently, 40% of the food produced in this country is going to waste-enough to feed every hungry person in the nation twice over. Food Lifeline’s Seattle’s Table and Grocery Rescue programs rescue nutritious, unmarketable food like produce, meat, dairy items and prepared food from grocery retailers and hospitality donors that would go otherwise go to waste and use it to feed hungry people. These programs are a significant and innovative part of the solution and provide an important stream of healthy, fresh foods to our member agencies.
The solution to hunger also requires education, outreach, and the commitment of elected officials and policymakers at all levels. Food Lifeline educates the public about hunger and advocates for positive change.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
To impact childhood hunger, we launched our Kids Café program. Kids Café is a summer and after-school meal program that delivers nutritious snacks and meals directly to children in underserved regions of our service area. The food includes a healthy variety of kid friendly items. We currently partner with Volunteers of America and the Boys & Girls Club, two nonprofits that provide direct services to kids. Last year, our summer program provided over 900 meals. Since our afterschool program began in December 2012, we have provided 2,574 snacks and 3,075 meals to children in need. Our goal for the coming year is to distribute 10,000 snacks and meals to 100 children through the summer program and distribute 63,000 snacks and meals to 300 children through our afterschool program.
We are also working to increase the fresh food supply available in rural communities. In July 2013, we will launch our Mobile Food Pantry, an innovative new program to distribute a wide variety of nutritious perishable food to underserved rural communities that do not have regular access to fresh food. The program will begin in Cowlitz County, an area with one of the highest rates of food insecurity in our service area, and then will expand to Whatcom County. We project that we will distribute over 60,000 pounds of food to 2,000 people over a 12-month period.
Your investment in Food Lifeline will support all of our programs and each $1 you invest provides a full day of meals for someone in need.