Last week, food bank managers from across the state met in Wenatchee to strategize for getting through what could be a tough winter. From 2008 to 2010, the number of Washington families facing food insecurity almost doubled.
Linda Stone, food policy director with The Children’s Alliance, says food banks used to see people for short time periods, often between jobs. Now they have regular clients, of many months’ duration.
“There’s just no recovery for the households that have come to rely on the food bank. So, if you’ve got a lot of people coming and they’re coming more frequently, they’re going to start giving them less food, in order to be able to meet the needs of more people.”
Stone says hunger in Washington is on the upswing, which is opposite the national trend.
Holtzman says he was prompted to take the SNAP challenge to better relate to a homeless man in his neighborhood. He hopes hearing about his experience spurs other people into action to fight hunger.
“The most important part of a social experience like this is to not only experience and understand the challenge and the issue that people in our community face, but then to actually do something about it.”
Stone used the SNAP Challenge to spread the word about hunger, writing a series of columns about his experience this spring in the Puget Sound Business Journal.