As Seattle Central students adapt to remote learning, the food pantry offered through Student Services continues to serve students. However, for those living outside of the city, access to both the college campus and its resources can be more difficult. Here are some of the options for those living outside of the city of Seattle within King County, primarily those to the south.
Seattle Food Committee, in cooperation with Hopelink, helps to coordinate food resources in King County, including resources on the eastside and north-end, while South King County Food Coalition (SKCFC) services South King County. Although the websites for all King County food banks and pantries are active, Maggie Rickman, Program Coordinator for SKCFC, recommends calling ahead of time to be sure of shifting needs and options. “There’s been a reduction in phone calls over the past few years in favor of email,” Maggie said, “but websites often struggle to keep up.”
“In South King County, specifically, we’ve been seeing a lot of food coming in, especially fresh and recently frozen food. There has been a decline in community donations, such as canned food and non-perishables, both because communities can’t part with these items and sanitation concerns prevent them from being usable.”
The increase in fresh food has been a combined effort by local farmers as well as state programs. “There has absolutely been an uptick in demand, with more people coming in, but the surge has not been nearly as overwhelming or crisis inducing as food banks initially feared.” Currently, food banks are doing everything they can to mitigate wait times and risks, with many temporarily shifting away from having clients shop in favor of pre-filled boxes.
Several South King County food banks work directly with area colleges, with Des Moines working directly with Highline College and Tukwila and Kent pairing with Greenriver College. According to Maggie, “Student hunger has been at the forefront of food bank planning in the past few years, so while there aren’t many specific programs for students, food banks are aware of the specific challenges students face especially with regard to hunger.”
Food banks in the SKCFC network: