Access to fresh meals is a critical component for the Market community to remain healthy in this COVID-19 pandemic. But it’s also very important for this community to stay at home and stay safe. So one of the first steps that the Market Foundation took in responding to this crisis is bridging this gap between food access and proper safety measures.
Above the storefronts in Pike Place Market, 400 senior residents on fixed incomes are maintaining the Stay Home, Stay Healthy order in Washington state. To keep these residents safely at home and nourished, we collaborated with our partner organizations in the Market community to provide grocery and meal delivery to all Market residents in need.
This partnership between The Market Commons, Pike Place Market PDA residential team and the Pike Market Senior Center & Food Bank allows us to adapt our existing programs rapidly, while keeping both residents, staff and community members safe and stable during this crisis.
Staff in these organizations worked to secure and sort shelf-stable groceries and pack and deliver hundreds of bags of food throughout the nine acre historic district last week. By Friday, April 3rd the first delivery of groceries reached all of the Market residents who needed it most.
Together with our partners in the Market, we will continue this adapted model of food access for the duration of the Governor’s shelter-in-place orders.
Our partners at the Pike Market Senior Center have adjusted services to meet the needs of our downtown neighbors experiencing homelessness. They adapted their traditional sit down meal program to giving out sack lunches to recurring clients in need of meals.
The Market Commons expanded its Pike Bucks program to continue supporting affordable access to produce for Market workers. For the month of April, Pike Bucks were quadrupled and mailed out to program participants so that they can shop for a month’s worth of groceries in one trip to limit their exposure during this pandemic. The Commons continues to coordinate with the Pike Place Market PDA to ensure that Market artists, farmers, agents, and buskers have access to the Market’s bounty of fresh, local produce.
Through this Emergency Food Access Plan, we can encourage the Market community to stay inside while not compromising their access to food. Just one way we stay nimble in this pandemic and ensure that this Market community thrives in good times and in tough times.
We will continue to need YOUR help to sustain these grocery services as we navigate this uncertain time.