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Emergency Grocery Vouchers Frequently Asked Questions

Updated April 2021

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The Emergency Grocery Voucher program ended on April 30, 2021. Here are answers to Frequently Asked Questions.

Why is the Emergency Grocery Voucher program ending?
Due to limited funding, the Emergency Grocery Voucher program was designed to serve eligible and enrolled households for a maximum of seven months. As of April 30, 2021, all recipients have finished their benefit period and all available funding for the program has been distributed.

I received a $180 card in March or April – do the benefits on the card expire?
No, money on the card does not expire. However, we cannot replace lost or stolen cards. Other key points about your card:

  • The card is activated and ready for use.
  • The card can be used at Safeway and Albertsons stores.
  • The card allows for the purchase of food items, household items, and personal items.
  • The card is NOT redeemable for cash or credit.
  • The card does NOT allow the purchase of alcohol, tobacco, lottery tickets, Western Union or Money Gram, other gift cards, or services at the customer service desk. The card will automatically split authorized and non-authorized products within the order and will not allow the funds on the card to be used on these items.
  • You can use this card with other payment methods in a single transaction.

I was enrolled in the program but did not receive all the vouchers/cards that were sent to me.
We cannot replace lost or stolen vouchers/cards. Vouchers and cards were mailed via first class USPS mail to eligible and enrolled recipients to the mailing address submitted at enrollment or to an updated mailing address, if provided. The last distribution of $180 cards was sent on March 25, 2021. Throughout April, we tracked any cards that were returned to the City as undeliverable mail, and we made every attempt to re-send them in accordance with our return policies.  As of April 30, 2021, we are no longer processing or re-sending returned cards.

In March 2021, a new federal COVID-19 relief package was passed. Does this mean there will be another Emergency Grocery Voucher program?
With the passage of the latest COVID-19 relief package (the American Rescue Plan), the Mayor’s office and the City Budget Office in coordination with Council Central Staff, the Council President’s Office, and Finance Chair’s Office are currently working together to identify local investment priorities. City Budget analysts and the Office of Intergovernmental Relations are in the process of reviewing the relief package to see what types of federal assistance is available, who is eligible for that assistance, and where there are potential gaps in who is served. We know there is a continued need for direct assistance like the grocery voucher program and that meeting this need is a priority of community partners and residents. City staff are taking this into consideration as we identify potential investment priorities. 

I need food assistance now – what resources are available?
This COVID-19: Resources for Community page contains information and web links for City of Seattle, King County, Washington State, federal, and community programs and services that help residents significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Some of the food programs and services include:

  • Washington Connection offers a fast and easy way for families and individuals to apply for a variety of services such as Food, Cash, Child Care, Long-Term Care, and Medicare Savings Programs. More information is here.
  • Interactive map and list of food banks, meal sites, and student-to-go meals. Click here to explore the resource.
  • Free and reduced-price lunch from Seattle Public Schools. Learn more and apply here
  • Families with children enrolled in free and reduced-price lunch at Seattle Public Schools will start receiving a benefit called Pandemic EBT (P-EBT) by April 2021. Learn more on Seattle Public Schools website or by calling the P-EBT Contact Center at 1 (833) 518-0282 (interpretation is available).
  • Free home delivery of meals for youth who live in High Point, New Holly, and Rainier Vista Seattle Housing Authority properties. To request home delivery of meals, fill out this online form or call (503) 395-7697.
  • Meal programs for older adults (ages 60+) and Meal-on-Wheels. Contact Community Living Connections at 1 (844) 348-5464 (toll-free) to get connected to services in Seattle and King County.
  • The Emergency Feeding Program provides pre-packaged food in bags for people experiencing food insecurity. They also have a drive-thru pick up program for people ages 55 and older. More information is here.
  • Free home delivery of emergency food boxes across King County during the COVID-19 pandemic. This service is reserved for people who are unable to access their local food bank in-person and are unable to afford groceries. To request a food box, fill out this online form.
  • Northwest Harvest SODO Community Market is offering pre-bagged produce, prepared foods, and shelf-stable groceries right at the door. There is no need to enter the facility. This is open to anyone of ANY AGE. SODO Community Market is located in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood at 1915 4th Ave S, near the corner of 4th Ave S & S Holgate St.
  • The grassroots coalition South King County & Eastside COVID-19 Coronavirus Mutual Aid Group is coordinating grocery drop-offs for “survivors, sick & disabled, immunocompromised, undocumented, black, queer, indigenous, and or people of color.” The request form can be found here.

You can also learn more about the services listed above on the COVID-19: Resources for Community. For questions, please call the City of Seattle Customer Service Bureau from Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM at (206) 684-2489 or (206) 684-CITY.