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City of Seattle Surpasses $19 million in Federal Aid for Ongoing Food Assistance for Seattle Residents

Recent COVID-19 Relief Package to Add $13 Million in Additional Food Assistance

SEATTLE (August 26, 2020) – With the most recent CARES act funding, the City of Seattle has surpassed over $19 million in federal aid to support programs that help address food insecurity for residents who continue to be impacted by COVID-19. Last week, Mayor Durkan and City Council agreed on programming for an additional $13 million in food assistance.

Mayor Durkan has directed an additional $9 million towards grocery vouchers, $670,000 towards the Community Food Fund, and over $2 million towards Seattle’s food banks. So far this year, the City has spent $11.6 million towards its innovative grocery voucher program launched in March.

“As Federal assistance for families hit hardest by COVID-19 has slowed, we know families are struggling with hunger and food access. Our direct food assistance has helped keep more than 40,000 neighbors each month stay healthy and fed,” said Mayor Jenny Durkan. “Our local food banks, community-based organizations, and United Way continue to do incredible work to help keep Seattle residents from going hungry and I’m grateful the City is able to partner with these groups.”

The City of Seattle has partnered with United Way of King County to launch the Community Food Fund, a resource to address food insecurity in communities most impacted by COVID-19. The funds will support Black, Indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) and immigrant/refugee-led food programming and partnerships that have formed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Organizations can request up to $50,000 and the fund must be spent by the end of the year. Applications are available online. Deadline to apply is Friday, September 11. Free technical assistance is also available for applicants. Visit the website for more information.

“We are now six months into the pandemic, and families all over our region are still struggling to meet their basic food needs,” said Gordon McHenry, Jr., President and CEO of United Way of King County. “We are grateful for the efforts from the City of Seattle for directing these funds to support the organizations and communities of color, who have been hit the hardest by the economic downturn caused by COVID-19.”

Over $9 million will go to extend Seattle’s innovative emergency grocery program which was launched in March at the onset of the pandemic. Since then the number of households served has grown to over 10,000. With the CARES act funding, those households will now receive grocery vouchers through October.

Seattle’s food banks will also receive over $2 million. The City is partnering with Solid Ground to distribute the funds. Demand continues to be high at all Seattle food banks and this additional funding will help keep their shelves stocked. This funding comes in addition to the over $7 million in food assistance that has supported meal delivery programs for older adults and for people experiencing homelessness.

“Seattle’s food banks are key community anchors and have been at the frontline of the pandemic response from the beginning,” said Fran Yeatts, Executive Director of the West Seattle Food Bank. This funding is a great boost to our work in supporting our neighborhoods and feeding our community. ”