Farms for Life and Housing Hope address childhood hunger during COVID-19
Farms for Life and Housing Hope teamed up to tackle child food insecurity in Snohomish County, a statistic that has spiked at an alarming rate since the COVID-19 pandemic began.
Earlier this year, a study conducted by Feeding America projects by the end of 2020, food insecurity will affect a staggering 26 percent of Snohomish County children—due to the COVID19 pandemic. This led to Housing Hope partnering with Farms for Life to erase this estimate. As of June, Farms for Life has donated nearly 700 pounds of locally grown, farm-fresh produce to Housing Hope's child agency, Tomorrow's Hope, feeding hundreds of local underserved children up to 12-years-old.
Farms for Life President Marie Shimada says between the pandemic and virtual learning, children questioning their next meal should be the last thought on their minds.
“This is a tough time for them,” Shimada said. “That age range is critical to childhood development. Not being able to interact with friends in-person is already a stressor, and I’m happy we are donating enough food to avoid adding another layer of stress for these kids.”
Housing Hope Community Meals Manager Dani Knapstad says Farms for Life's contributions have played a major role in keeping underserved children’s bellies full throughout the pandemic.
"Their donations have allowed us to continue to serve delicious, nutrient-dense food," Knapstad said. "We have been able to sustain the children’s increased appetites, increase our nutrition education opportunities at the lunch table and establish healthy eating habits."
Families can enroll their children at Tomorrow’s Hope on their website.
Unused produce is available for Housing Hope volunteers to take home to their families to reduce waste and encourage healthy eating. Housing Hope will also use the produce to feed students of their adult education program, College of Hope.