Since Governor Jay Inslee implemented his Stay Home, Stay Healthy order in March, 30% of all Washington households have experienced food insecurity, and of those households, 59% had children living in the home. That according to the first Washington State Food Security Survey. It’s estimated that 1.6 million Washingtonians were food insecure in April, that number is around 2.2 million.


Laura Lewis, director of Washington State University Food Systems Program said because of challenges with supply chains, and restrictions on what was allowed to be open, including food banks, not only was their less food, but many diets drastically changed.

“We’re definitely eating more processed foods, and shelf stable foods.  More plant based proteins, people having a harder time accessing meats or it’s more expensive so, that was definitely a problem.”

She added, for those that use foodbanks, many locations have closed, meaning those that need help must travel greater distances to get the food they need. Lewis said while many of the results may be discouraging, she’s encouraged as we looks toward the future.

“People are looking for long-term change, I mean, we’re obviously trying to come up with short-term solutions and response, but I think looking down the road there’s a lot of opportunity for a much more resilient Washington food system.”

Lewis added at 30% of the state’s population, chances are you know someone who is struggling with food insecurity.

“Continue to reach out to those around you whether they are family, friends, neighbors, people in your community to make sure that you can help the programs that are in place.  To just create that safety net for Washingtonians, especially as we go through the winter.”

Click Here to read the results of the Washington State Food Security Survey.

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