Fighting Hunger in the Pandemic and Beyond
Last updated: November 17, 2020, at 8:14 p.m. PT
Originally published: November 10, 2020, at 1:30 p.m. PT
In March 2020, as the country began to shut down due to COVID-19, food insecurity rates across the country skyrocketed. Months later, the number of children facing hunger is at its highest in 25 years. Before the pandemic, 1 in 7 children were at risk of hunger. Now, that number is 1 in 4.
Year-round, the Y provides meals and snacks to thousands of kids but now, at a time when resources for many families who were already vulnerable are shrinking and uncertain, access to healthy food is even harder. During this pandemic, we're meeting people where they are and getting innovative with our own resources to meet this unfunded, increased demand.
We have expanded our Hunger Initiatives to ensure kids and families have access to healthy meals and snacks. We are working hand in hand with community partner organizations and with Y members and donors, to make sure no kid goes hungry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Already, we’ve distributed more than 340,000 meals to vulnerable children and families at more than 60 sites across King County.
"I've been out of work for months, I don't know what I would do without this.", a mom utilizing the Y’s Hunger Programs said after getting Totes to Go Meals for her family.
Hunger is our most basic human need and supporting kids and families to have enough to eat, no matter where they live, is the call of this moment.
The pandemic has called on us like no other. Partners like the United Way of King County and AmeriCorps helped us be strategic and rise to the occasion.
"As food insecurity continues to rise across our country, I am grateful to be one of the many people helping to connect families to food resources. I hope that by increasing these families’ access to food, we can make sure people are well fed and relieve stress surrounding meal time during an already incredibly stressful time for so many,” one Americorps service member said of their service.
Most importantly, we are finding and feeding kids and their families where they are. From meal distribution in low-income housing communities and drive-thru pick up at neighborhood schools and Y Centers.
This need is not going away anytime soon and the YMCA of Greater Seattle is committed to supporting our communities and families to gain access to healthy food.
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