July 29, 2021
Need support with food this summer? WithinReach can help!
Having access to nutritious food is important for you and your family, and can help your child’s development and their success as they return to school. Unfortunately, food insecurity remains high in Washington State; affecting one in three households with children and disproportionately impacting Black, Indigenous and communities of color. With the pandemic’s continued impact on food security, we understand the needs and challenges to accessing food assistance.
However, there are programs and resources to help your family get the food they need, and WithinReach can help you get connected to these benefits. Check out our list of food programs, resources and benefits you can access this summer and all year long:
Summer Meal Programs
The Washington State Summer Food Service Program, also known as Summer Meals Program, provides free breakfast, lunch and snacks to children 18 years and younger. Meals are served at a variety of community-based sites throughout the summer, typically between June and August when school is not in session. No proof of income, address or citizenship is ever required for Summer Meals Programs. Due to COVID-19, sites will operate with additional precautions in place to minimize risk of illness while serving meals to the community.
To find a Summer Meals site near you, use the USDA Summer Meal Site Finder or call WithinReach’s Family Food Hotline at 1-888-436-6392.
Basic Food, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, helps families and individuals buy groceries each month using an Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) card. Monthly benefits can be spent in participating grocery stores and are based on your income, living expenses and how many people buy, share and prepare food in your household. Those on Basic Food may qualify for incentive programs, like low-cost local phone service, free or reduced school meal programs and much more!
To learn more about Basic Food, to see if you qualify, or if you would like assistance filling out the enrollment form, please call our Help Me Grow Washington Hotline at 1-800-322-2588 or apply online at www.washingtonconnection.org.
Pandemic EBT, or P-EBT, is a program that provides food benefits to children who had limited onsite meals at their school or child care center due to COVID-19. Washington state expanded P-EBT benefits through the summer and now include children under the age of 6 years. Families don’t have to apply for the P-EBT Program! If your child is determined eligible, they may automatically qualify and will receive an approval letter along with a designated P-EBT card. P-EBT benefits are not subject to Public Charge rules.
To learn more about P-EBT benefits, call our Help Me Grow Washington Hotline at 1-800-322-2588 or visit the DSHS website.
The Women, Infants and Children (WIC) Nutrition Program
WIC serves individuals who are pregnant, postpartum or breastfeeding and children up to 5 years old who are at or below 185% of the federal poverty level. WIC helps provide families with healthy foods, as well as other services such as nutrition education, breastfeeding support and health screenings and referrals.
To find out if you qualify, or to find a WIC clinic near you, call our Help Me Grow Washington Hotline at 1-800-322-2588, text “WIC” to 96859 or visit our ParentHelp123 ResourceFinder.
WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program (WIC FMNP)
The Farmers Market Nutrition Program (FMNP) aims to provide healthy, unprocessed, locally grown fresh fruits, vegetables and cut herbs to families receiving WIC and low-income seniors. The FMNP season runs through October 31. All women and children certified to receive WIC program benefits are eligible for WIC FMNP and can receive WIC FMNP checks from participating local WIC clinics.
To learn more about Farmers Market checks, ask WIC staff or call your local WIC clinic.
Do you and your family need help connecting to these or other resources? Please call our Help Me Grow Washington Hotline at 1-800-322-2588 to learn more about food assistance, health and social service resources.
Content Updated: 7/29/21