Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank Programs
Of five primary programs, our most front-line services are the Meals Program, the Social Services Program. These programs are facing increased demand as job opportunities remain scarce and as our population ages. Clients turn to PMSC-FB to meet basic needs like nutrition and to seek housing options and benefits to which they may be entitled, like food stamps. PMSC-FB is increasingly serving as a safety net that protects our community's most vulnerable older adults and families.
The Meals Program serves two free meals every day to seniors. Each meal meets 1/3 of the daily nutritional requirement of persons 55+ and features fresh ingredients. The meals are served in a friendly environment and have earned a reputation for being delicious. The Meals Program is the heart of the Senior Center and serves as a magnet for our other helpful programs.
The Pike Market Food Bank provides free groceries without any age restrictions. Expanding the selection to meet growing demand is a key goal for 2013.
The Social Services Program provides long term, individualized case management for low-income and homeless older adults as they seek affordable housing and government/veterans benefits, apply for food stamps, and search for affordable or free medical care.
To meet demand, PMSC-FB is seeking to increase its capacity to protect homeless and low-income seniors and families by providing free, nutritious food, social services and more.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Demand on our Meals and Social Services programs has skyrocketed in recent years. We are seeing more - and more needy - clients than ever. From 2010 to 2013, the clientele has grown by 23%, we served 52% more free meals and handled a massive 86% more social work cases.
To help stretch our budget, PMSC-FB has developed a relationship with the Goat Hill Giving Garden, an organic community garden tended by employees of King County. PMSC-FB is the recipient of the garden’s harvest which provides fresh ingredients for our Meals Program and organic produce for distribution at the Food Bank. This successful partnership has inspired further community relationships that stretch our budget and boost our ability to provide services. We also partner with Oxbow Farms to add more fresh produce to our meals and to share at the Food Bank.
Thanks to community support, we were able to add another social worker to our staff in 2011. Even with this added capacity, our Social Services Program is still struggling to keep up with the growing caseload.