One in eight Washingtonians do not get enough food to meet their basic nutritional needs. One in five kids in Washington State lives in a household that struggles to put food on the table. One in seven Washingtonians relies on SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps) and half of those are kids. One in six Washingtonians relies on their local food bank.
Harbor Hope Center volunteers make dozens of food deliveries to food-insecure students and families each week. Our transportation program which was started to give students rides from school and appointments, has broadened to include a food component so that growing needs are met.
‘Food insecurity’ is a term developed to describe households financially stretched to the point where they cannot be certain all household members will not go hungry. Nationwide and in Washington State, over 14% of households suffer food insecurity. Rates of food insecurity are higher in households with children. Nationally, nearly 16 million children live in households that experience food insecurity – nearly 20% of all children. Children’s Alliance estimates approximately 305,000 children in Washington live in food insecure households.
It is a little-known fact that about 20 percent of the students in the Gig Harbor Peninsula School District (1,674 kids at last count) qualify for free or reduced-price meals. Although these children receive breakfast and lunches while school is in session, they may go hungry during the summer.