by Ronnie Estoque
Sam Dancy has worked at the QFC in Westwood Village since the store opened in 1991. He is also a shop steward for UFCW 3000 and was involved in advocacy efforts on behalf of the union for grocery store worker hazard pay during the early part of the pandemic. Dancy, alongside other representatives of UFCW 3000 and other unions across various states, is currently protesting the possible merger between Kroger and Albertsons, which was announced last month.
Continue reading Local Grocery Store Workers Protest Kroger-Albertsons Merger
by Guy Oron
(This article was originally published on Real Change and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
Over the past six months, community organizations have distributed 15 million pounds of food to community members across the region as part of Public Health – Seattle & King County’s (PHSKC) Food Security Assistance Program (FSAP). The $5.4-million initiative, funded by federal COVID-19 emergency relief money, helped as many as 10,000 people a month, according to Sara Seelmeyer, the senior manager of food security and benefits for United Way of King County.
Continue reading More Households May Face Hunger as COVID-19 Support Ends, Warn Food Service Providers
by Elizabeth Turnbull
As talk of inflation and a recession increases, families in South Seattle are continuing to navigate how to feed their families, and food banks in the area have noted an increase in need.
“We are seeing more people coming to our food bank,” Kathy Ulrich, the development director at Rainier Valley Food Bank, told the Emerald. “And you know, we’re seeing folks who have not really needed food assistance before.”
Continue reading With Increasing Inflation, Communities Are Leaning on Local Food Banks
by Amanda Ong
Since 2018, the Urban Fresh Food Collective has been making fresh food accessible to South Park, one of Seattle’s food deserts. What started as a passionate group of South Park residents has now become a team of leaders committed to honoring the community through its various programs. They remind us that despite Seattle’s seemingly progressive reputation, there are still neighborhoods without easy access to fresh foods.
Continue reading The Urban Fresh Food Collective Tackles Food Insecurity in South Park
by Chamidae Ford
As we transition into fall, the BLOOM Giving Garden at Wa Na Wari is beginning to wrap up the season. The BIPOC-youth-run garden began as a response to COVID-19 and has continued to grow and expand in its second summer.
The garden is a collaboration between Wa Na Wari, Seattle Public Library (SPL), YES Farm, The Black Farmers Collective, and EarthCorps. The project aims to educate and uplift BIPOC youth by fostering food sovereignty and honoring sacred land and Indigenous practices whilst building community. Eight fellows have been selected to run the garden through their involvement with farm-related programs.
C. Davida Ingram, a Wa Na Wari partner and SPL public engagement employee, teamed up with Hannah Wilson from YES Farms and came to Wa Na Wari with the idea for a garden.
“Our goal is to look at the environment that Communities of Color look in, live in, and to look at it through the lens of creativity,” Ingram said. “At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a spotlight on economics. People were losing their housing and also people were running out of food. And because Seattle is such an incredible space for conversations around food justice and food sovereignty, we reached out to Wa Na Wari and said, ‘Would you be interested in creating a space where people could learn about food sovereignty and also would you be open to creating space for community gardening?’ And they said ‘yes.’”
Continue reading BLOOM Giving Garden Teaches BIPOC Youth Black Liberation and Food Sovereignty
by Makayla Miles
(This article is co-published in agreement with Rainier Beach Action Coalition’s SE Seattle Freedomnet.)
This is the second in a series of articles drawing from the experiences of the many young adults employed by the Rainier Beach Action Coalition (RBAC) to improve their community. These articles tackle practical issues young adults in our community should have learned about in school, but often leave school without knowing.
Every Saturday, at least a half-hour before the Rainier Beach Action Coalition Farm Stand officially opens, the line of people waiting to get their hands on fresh, organically grown produce stretches from in front of the Community Center all the way toward the entrance of South Shore K–8.
Food insecurity is defined as “the state of being without reliable access to a sufficient quantity of affordable, nutritious food.”
It’s widely known that Rainier Beach only has one grocery store — but while Safeway is a reliable option for some people, it can be too expensive for people living in low-income households. As a result, people sometimes have to travel outside of the area to find affordable food.
Continue reading Adulting 101: Overcoming Food Insecurity in Rainier Beach
by Ari Robin McKenna (photos by Pharaoh Prim)
On Fridays, the front foyer of South Shore PK–8 is bustling to the sound of the “Uncle Bob playlist.” Old school rhythm and blues, soul, and the occasional pop song keep people moving, keep their team flowing, and keep the brown paper bags filling up with food. It’s full of the songs “that no one doesn’t like,” says John Santos, a Youth Services Assistant, impromptu DJ, and the son of “Uncle” Bob Santos, one of a longtime group of Seattle activists affectionately known as the “Gang of Four.” Though his family is a part of Seattle history, Santos feels lucky to be involved with this current effort. “When we do this every Friday, it’s a very humbling experience to know that we’re helping families, feeding families.”
Continue reading South Shore PreK–8 Helps Sustain Families Through the Worst of Times
by Sandra LeDuc
More Seattle families will have access to fresh fruits and vegetables, thanks to an expansion of the City of Seattle’s Fresh Bucks program. The city has just added $1.3 million for the program in the newly approved 2021 city budget, making it possible to enroll 3,100 people currently on the Fresh Bucks waitlist to begin receiving vouchers in December and continuing through 2021.
Fresh Bucks customers receive $40 in monthly benefits to purchase fruits and vegetables from participating Seattle farmers markets, neighborhood grocers, and Seattle Safeway stores. With the program’s expansion, there are 12,100 Seattle households served, in addition to the city’s emergency grocery voucher program that has supported 14,000 households.
Continue reading 3,100 More Seattle Households to Receive Monthly ‘Fresh Bucks’ Fruit and Vegetable Benefit
by Mark Van Streefkerk
Starting this Friday, nonprofit City Fruit will host the first of 12 Fruit For All pop-ups across Seattle, giving free, city-grown fruit to anyone who wants it on a first come, first served basis. Now in their third year of community pop-up events, City Fruit harvests fruit from Seattle orchards and trees that would otherwise go to waste and gives it to anyone who needs it through food banks, meal programs, and pop-ups. Starting at New Holly Rockery Community Garden July 31, pop-ups will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. twice a week until late September. Check out the calendar and locations here.
Continue reading Fruit For All Pop-Ups Bring Fresh, Locally-Grown Fruit to Seattle Communities
by Carolyn Bick
The farm stand hadn’t even opened for business yet, but the socially distant line for Tilth Alliance’s new farm stand was already starting to stretch down the organization’s driveway on the sunny afternoon of June 25.
The nonprofit organic gardening and urban ecology organization is located at the Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands in partnership with Friends of Rainier Beach Urban Farm and Wetlands. Tucked away in a leafy residential area on South Cloverdale Street, this is the city’s largest urban farm. Tilth Alliance officially launched the new farm stand in this outdoor space on June 18. The farm stand is open every Thursday from 2–7 p.m. and is yet another one of Tilth Alliance’s efforts to support South King County residents.
Continue reading Farm Stand in Rainier Beach Provides Free and Low-Cost Produce for the Community