Food Security for Children (FSC) works to eliminate infant and toddler hunger and malnutrition by providing age-appropriate, high-nutrition foods and essential baby supplies to low-income families through Seattle food banks. FSC also strives to prevent hunger-related problems by connecting expectant and new mothers with nutrition education – and the community resources they need to take care of themselves and raise healthy children.
FSC projects include:
- Baby Boost Information Fairs, connecting low-income families with approximately 20 community health, nutrition and social service agencies.
- Baby Cupboard Project, providing low-income families with essential infant foods and useful supplies through 20 Seattle food banks.
- Toddler Feeding Project, providing families with toddlers a balanced variety of age-appropriate, nutritious foods essential for healthy development through five Seattle food banks (while supplies last).
Most of us need more than adequate nutrition to raise healthy babies. For families living around the poverty level, single-parent families, those with both parents working low-paying jobs, and those struggling to deal with health problems, addictions and other disabilities, it can be extremely difficult to learn about all the resources in the community that can provide support, information, food, cloth diapers and other essential supplies.
Baby Boost Information Fairs are "one-stop shops" that provide important nutritional and health information and one-on-one connections to about 20 service providers and community resources. About 10 Baby Boost Fairs are held each year, hosted by Seattle area food banks, community centers, and substance abuse treatment centers. A WIC nutritionist is on hand to demonstrate how to prepare baby food as well as distribute breastfeeding information.
Fairs provide child care for young children, enabling the parents to concentrate on learning about where to find free health clinics for their kids, which food banks have Baby Cupboards, where they can get breastfeeding support, and how they can learn about child development and children's nutritional needs. Families coming to Baby Boost Fairs also receive limited supplies of baby food, cloth diapers and cleaning materials, food grinders, sippy cups, baby hygiene products and other baby supplies.
Interpreter services are available as needed.
With Solid Ground's assistance, many area food banks have developed Baby Cupboards focused on providing nutritional support for families with infants and young children ages 0 to 2 years old.
Food Banks with Baby Cupboards:
Puget Sound Labor Agency Food Bank, 2800 First Ave, Room 126, Seattle, WA 98121, 206.448.9277
Rainier Valley Food Bank, 4205 Rainier Ave S, Seattle, WA 98118, 206.723.4105
Saint Vincent DePaul Food Bank, 5972 4th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108, 206.767.7888
Salvation Army Food Bank, 1101 Pike St, Seattle, WA 98101, 206.447.9944
Seattle Indian Center, 611 12 Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144, 206.329.8700
Spiritual Miracles Food Bank, 12600 Renton Ave S, Seattle, WA 98178, 206.380.6237
University District Food Bank, 1413 NE 50th St, Seattle, WA 98105, 206.523.7060
Volunteers of America/Greenwood Food Bank, 9041 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103, 206.782.6731
West Seattle Food Bank, 3419 SW Morgan St, Seattle, WA 98126, 206.932.9023
- Asian Counseling & Referral Service (ACRS)/International District Food Bank, 919 S King St, Seattle, WA 98144, 206.292.5714
- Ballard Food Bank, 5130 Leary Ave NW, Seattle, WA 98107, 206.789.7800
- Beacon Avenue Food Bank, 6230 Beacon Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108, 206.722.5105
- CAMP Food Bank, 722 18th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, 206.812.4970
- El Centro de la Raza Food Bank, 2524 16th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98144, 206.329.7960
- FamilyWorks Wallingford Food Bank, 1501 N 45th St, Seattle, WA 98103, 206.694.6723
- Food Bank at St. Mary's, 611 20th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98114, 206.324.7100
- Jewish Family Service, 1601 16th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122, 206.461.3240
- North Helpline Emergency Service & Foodbank, 12707 30th Ave NE, Seattle, WA 98125, 206.367.3477
- Phinney Ridge Lutheran Food Bank, 7500 Greenwood Ave N, Seattle, WA 98103, 206.784.7964
- Pike Market Food Bank, 1531 Western Ave, Seattle, WA 98101, 206.626.6462
For more information on these Food Banks (including hours of operation), or to find the Food Bank nearest you, call 206.694.6756.
The Toddler Feeding Project provides a grocery bag full of age-appropriate, nutritious foods for toddlers whose parents access food banks at five Seattle sites (while supplies last). Graham crackers, cheerios, juice, peanut butter, fruits, and veggies are the main ingredients. Parents enjoy receiving food their toddler will actually eat, and toddlers love the idea that the bag belongs to them. Program directors often comment on children asking for "my bag."
Food bank directors' comments:
"Our parents with kids often feel like they need more from us...than we were previously able to provide. This (Toddler Feeding Project) has been effective way to provide more appropriate food for kids."
"I feel the program gives parents better insight on how important good nutrition is to the total child, i.e. healthy teeth, strong bones."
"A young mother with four children, one who is disabled, has a three year old who looks forward to getting his own bag of food. The mother only makes minimum wage and the father is often unemployed."
Current Toddler Feeding Sites:
How you can support Food Security for Children:
1) Donate! Cash donations are always welcome. To donate, click the blue Donate button at the top right of this page, and choose "Food Security for Children" from the "Designation" dropdown menu.
2) In-Kind Donations: We also always need donations of:
- new or very gently used clean clothing*
- disposable diapers
- formula (Similac Advance only, the WIC brand)
- cash donations
Please note that our storage space is very limited, so unfortunately we cannot accept furniture, high chairs, car seats or strollers at this time. If you have something you think we might be able to use, please call us at 206.694.6755. *Also, not all Baby Cupboard locations listed below have the capacity to receive/store clothing, so please call individual locations ahead of time to ask.
3) Conduct an infant toddler food/diaper drive at your workplace or community organization! Useful nonperishable foods include tuna, peanut butter, graham crackers, juice and cereals. And as mentioned above, Similac Advance formula and disposable diapers are always needed.
To arrange making all donations, please contact us at 206.694.6755 or email@example.com.
Food Security for Children brochure
Childhood Hunger in 24 Cities (November 2009): This report by the U.S. Conference of Mayors includes four of Seattle's anti-hunger programs among 45 best practices in 24 cities across the country. The report provides examples of successful approaches to meeting the nutritional needs of low-income children, including Food Security for Children (listed on page 48 of the PDF report).
1501 North 45th Street
Seattle, WA 98103-6708