Lakewood, WA – This month Emergency Food Network (EFN) celebrates six months of their Home Delivery Program which delivers groceries to high-risk individuals. This program, which is a direct response to the COVID-19 Pandemic, is possible through EFN’s partnership with Coordinated Care, who provided seed money to fund the Home Delivery Program. This partnership unites two organizations with a mutual purpose to provide food assistance to those in need throughout Pierce County.
Food and nutrition are essential for building a solid foundation for health and wellness. Coordinated Care recognizes food security as a key foundation of health, and throughout their eight years of engagement, Coordinated Care has partnered with EFN on many different programs and volunteer opportunities, like EFN’s Break Bag Program, which provides food assistance to students who rely on school-provided over holiday breaks so students and their families still have access to nutritious food when school is not in session. In addition to these programs, Coordinated Care partners with EFN to host food drives, participate in the Hunger Walk & 5K, volunteer at food pantries, and raise money to support their initiatives.
“We are incredibly grateful for our partnership with Coordinated Care,” said Michelle Douglas, CEO at Emergency Food Network. “Food insecurity continues to be an issue in Pierce County and the COVID-19 pandemic has only amplified this need as people experience increased financial strain and unemployment. Coordinated Care’s commitment to addressing hunger in our community is admirable and we are thankful for their continued support year after year with a strong commitment to helping us provide healthy, nutritious food for our neighbors in need.”
Food is a foundation of health and Coordinated Care prioritizes food security as a key social determinant of health. The Home Delivery Program serves over 200 families each week, providing one-time and recurring deliveries of both shelf stable and fresh foods. Volunteer delivery drivers complete deliveries weekly to those in need of food assistance who are unable to leave their residence. This program was created in direct response to the COVID-19 pandemic and increased need for food assistance in Pierce County. The program is open to those who identify as high-risk and signups are made through EFN’s website or via phone.
“For the past eight years, Emergency Food Network has been a valued partner in our mission to promote health by making nutritious food more accessible,” said Beth Johnson, President and CEO at Coordinated Care. “Food insecurity can come in a number of forms like limited income, lack of transportation, and recently, the COVID-19 pandemic. However, through the Home Delivery Program, we’re able to overcome multiple barriers to deliver food directly to people who need it throughout Pierce County.”
“This food has been such a big help,” said a recipient of EFN’s home delivery program. “I really think it’s wonderful. It is something my kids look forward to every week. Even though we don’t talk to the person who drops off the food, my kids always go to the window and wave. It’s so nice because we have this few minutes of kindness with this person and since my kids are really at risk with everything that is happening they haven’t been able to visit with anyone, so we really look forward to these deliveries.”