COVID-19 and Food Access: Connecting our Community to Resources

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As the economic impact of the COVID-19 crisis continues to be felt by the low-income families living in our transitional housing program, acquiring food and supplies has become an increasingly more worrisome issue.

“Those families with transportation can go pick up food from food banks,” Greg, our Program Services Manager said. “But, those who don’t drive or own cars, we have to troubleshoot that with them and figure out if a Case Manager or friend or neighbor can help them out with that.”

Case Manager Katie said her client families are very thankful for any and all food resources during these uncertain times.

“Most people (in our program) are concerned about using whatever money they have to keep a roof over their heads and aren’t looking to spend it all on groceries, so they’ve been able to use HopeLink’s pre-packed food box pickup program,” Katie said. “In general, people are scared that there’s not enough resources.”

Greg said the team’s approach to case management is also changing in response to the ongoing crisis.

“We’ve shifted our checking-in to mainly be about ‘How are you doing?’ and  ‘How can we get you connected to what you need?'” Greg said. “If the barrier is just walking people through something, like applying for unemployment, then we’ll help you out with that over the phone. That’s an on-going daily thing for our case managers.”

Katie said stress and mental health issues are also an influence on food-related issues.

“I’ve heard many clients say this very same thing: my grocery bill has gone up because the kids aren’t regularly getting their free lunches at school,” Kate said. “Also, people are stress-eating and feeling depressed. One client joked that when this is all over, everyone in the country is going to be 40 pounds heavier!”

That last part is important to keep in mind, “when this is all over.” It may feel hopeless at times, but this crisis will not last forever. We at Attain Housing are fortunate to be in a position where we can still help families in need during this crisis, and that’s all thanks to our donors, board members, and everyone who has supported our organization over the years. We’re doing everything in our power to get our families and community members in need through this stressful time. If you would like to help our clients, please donate here.

Eastside Food Resources:

For Individuals and/or Families:

Call HopeLink to register for pre-packed boxes of food for pick-up at their food banks: 425-889-7880
HopeLink also accepts food donations here

Renewal Food Bank – 15022 Bel-Red Road, Bellevue, WA 98007 – 425-736-8132

For Families with Dependent Children:

Lake Washington School District – meals to-go

Lake Washington School District weekend meals for students

Bellevue School District – meals to-go