The City of Seattle will now be able to provide an additional 250 households with emergency grocery vouchers thanks an additional $200,000 contribution from Safeway. Safeway had previously contributed $200,000 which was announced a few weeks ago.
The emergency grocery voucher program provides families $800 in vouchers to purchase food, cleaning supplies, and other household goods at any Safeway store in Washington state. The vouchers are distributed in in two installments of $400 each. These funds will support workers who recently lost their job or experienced a decrease in hours or wages due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As with previous funding raised for this program, the Safeway donation will go to the United Way of King County to support the Office of Sustainability and Environment’s (OSE) expanded emergency food voucher program. The expanded program is now providing 2050 workers impacted by COVID-19 with vouchers that can immediately be used at any Washington state Safeway store to purchase food and household goods, not including tobacco, alcohol, lottery tickets, and fuel.
OSE is continuing to partner with community-based organizations to distribute the vouchers, focusing on recently displaced workers who are unable to access other forms of government aid due to structural or institutional barriers, like language barriers, fear of deportation, or experiencing gender-based violence. Partner organizations include: Asian Counseling and Referral Services, API Chaya, Casa Latina, Entre Hermanos, Fair Work Center, Ingersoll Gender Center, Lake City Collective, Providence Regina House, Refugee Women’s Alliance, United Indians of All Tribes, Villa Comunitaria, and West African Community Council. Partner organizations are determining voucher recipients based on the lists of clients and households they support in their work.
There are many efforts via the City, state, and nonprofit agencies to help ensure food security and access during the COVID-19 pandemic. The City’s Human Services Department (HSD) put together this interactive Food Resource Map to help residents find available food resources in their neighborhood. In addition, residents can visit the City’s comprehensive COVID-19 resource website for a compilation of food resources and information on how to access those resources.