Since last year, the demand for food bank services rose by more than 15%. On average 1,000 people visit the food bank every week and more programs were created to expand their reach into the community. Food bank staff and volunteers delivered groceries to 120 people a week who have difficulty leaving their home. This was an increase of more than 21% since last year.
In COVID-19, The Pike Market Food Bank, fresh off of converting to a grocery store model, has had to set up a take away window for the hundreds of people who need groceries every week. Through their quick flexibility, the Food Bank has been able to continuously provide fresh produce and shelf-ready foods for so many Market families and downtown neighbors.
Recently, a no-cook bag service was piloted and then made permanent based on hundreds of people a week requesting ready-to-eat and easy-to-carry foods. Hours were also expanded to include Wednesdays from 4 – 6pm to serve the Market community of vendors and others who work downtown.
In addition to protein and canned goods, one of the most unique benefits that the Food Bank provides for shoppers is fresh produce, bread, and other goods donated by Pike Place Market vendors. Market businesses such as Sosio’s, Frank’s Produce, Lina’s Produce, Le Panier, Storyville Coffee, and others provide daily donations that add nutrient-rich items to each grocery bag.