Hunger Action Week is March 19-24.
Hunger is a real problem in Washington State. According United Way King County 1 in 5 kids is at risk for hunger and nearly 50% of people using King County food banks make more than 200% of the federal poverty level which for a family of 4 is about $48,000 a year. Hunger strikes all ages but disproportionately affects children and seniors. In the last five years, food banks have seen a 26% increase in clients with children and a 45% increase in senior clientele. Perhaps most startling is the fact that 45% of people using a food bank, meal program or shelter have some form of post-secondary education. During the last 4 years Seattle food banks have seen a 30% increase in clients while experiencing a 31% decline in donations.
Find out what you can do during Hunger Action Week. Try taking the Hunger Challenge starting March 19. Experience firsthand how it feels to survive on $7 a day, the maximum basic food benefit for an individual. The US Department of Agriculture (USDA), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), called Basic Food in Washington, helps low income people make ends meet by providing monthly benefits to buy food. Participating in Basic Food has other benefits including:
- Enrollment in free school meals for school-aged children
- Meets the income test for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)
Food Lifeline’s Missing Meals Report shows that more than 163 million meals are still needed each year in western Washington to ensure that all low-income families and individuals have three nutritious meals a day.