Expanding Hunger Programs for Teens

Last updated: January 9, 2023, at 10:21 a.m. PT

Originally published: January 9, 2023, at 10:21 a.m. PT

hunger programs volunteer serving kids at school

You’ve played a huge part in helping addressing food insecurity across King County. This is us saying thank you, and sharing exactly what we’ve been able to achieve. 

The need for food access has continued across all of King County. Our food access landscape has changed since COVID with the need increased, supply issues and especially considering the 13.5% increase in grocery costs this year, just keeping our food banks stocked has been such an accomplishment. But that’s only part of the picture.  

Now the world is opening back up, we didn’t want access to food to be what prevents kids from making the most of it. After-school activities and enrichment are powerful. And they can’t be done on an empty stomach! Our new meal partnership with Auburn High School has been an incredible success, serving over 100 meals at the end of the school day and coordinating with their after-school clubs to keep students energized and engaged. 

And hunger doesn’t end just because the week does. On Fridays, our Backpack Meal Program has been sending food insecure students in Renton and Tukwila home with food to last the weekend. It started small, with just a few dozen backpacks. But now — thanks to volunteers, board members, staff, and regular Y members — hundreds of students are benefiting from it.  

“It’s a happy event. The whole community wants to come together. The scope of the project is amazing.” - Faye Houshyari, Coal Creek Board Member️ 

volunteer packing food packs at the YMCA

You’ve empowered us to keep kids fed at school. And at home. And now also out in the neighborhoods who can benefit the most, with Y on the Fly. It’s a refrigerated van that serves up healthy food and after-school fun to kids in affordable housing communities across our region. The meals and programming provided are not only educationally enriching and accessible, but also serve to foster community engagement. 

All of that adds up to over 541,000 meals, snacks, produce boxes, and backpacks served in 2022 and with the continued support of people like you, we aim to do even more this year in the fight to eliminate hunger 

A recipient of our hunger initiatives shared, “My husband is the only one bringing income for our family of eight . . . so this program has helped in a very great way. My family and I are very grateful. Thank you for your hard work in providing essential food and delivering it to our family . . . thank you”. 

We couldn’t have done it without you. 

Category: Impact Newsletter