As quarantine drags on, food banks are experiencing shortages and increased demand. Many are struggling to keep up with the increase of those needing food, especially fresh food. Along with a disparate amount of supply compared to demand, food banks are unable to have as many volunteers in one place anymore.
According to Clark County Food Banks’ website, volunteers must email beforehand and schedule a certain time in order to volunteer. The Clark County Food Bank has also begun scheduling pop-up distributors, and their locations can be found here.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports households most at risk for food insecurity are those headed by single women with children, followed by black, non-hispanic households (Source). Households with incomes underneath the 185% poverty line are also commonly struggling with food insecurity. On average, most households suffering from food insecurity are dealing with it around 7 months out of every year.
As of now, most food banks are in need of non-perishable and canned goods that are “shelf-stable”, meaning that they can be kept in a pantry for extended periods of time without spoiling. These foods include but are not limited to peanut butter and other nut butters, canned soup, fruit, vegetables, fish and beans, whole grain pasta, and brown rice. Canned meat, non-frozen microwavable meals, and oatmeal are also accepted as donations.
Food banks also accept donations from restaurants. Will Connelly, whose mother Karla Connelly is the regional manager for restaurant chain WildFin, said that though WildFIn was shut down due to COVID-19, the restaurant still had frozen food.
Connelly’s mother and himself drove down to Camas’ Jack, Will, & Rob Center and donated crates of apples and oranges. “They were grateful for the large perishable donation on delivery day,” Connelly says, “so struggling families would be able to eat fresh produce that hadn’t spoiled.”
Prices of food have gone up since the COVID-19 pandemic reached the U.S. Specifically, the prices of beef, poultry, eggs, and fish have gone up. According to USA Today, prices have shot up to the highest one-month increase since 1974. On average, grocery prices have gone up 4.1%.
Though not everyone can volunteer or donate food, small financial donations also help food banks to continue providing their services to households and individuals in need.
Below is a list of food banks located in Southwest Washington provided by Washington’s U.S. Congresswoman Jaime Herrera Beutler.
Address: 906 Harney St, Vancouver
Tuesdays 10:00am to 1:00pm for referred clients; Thursday 4:00pm to 7:00pm open for general public
Address: 1220 NE 68th St, Vancouver
Clark County Adventist Community Services: Monday and Tuesday 9:30am to 3:00pm
Address: 3114 E 4th Plain Blvd, Vancouver
FISH – Orchards: Monday – Friday 10:00am to 12:00pm and 12:30pm to 2:30pm
Address: 6012 NE 110th Ave, Vancouver
Inter-Faith Treasure House: Monday – Friday 10:00am to 2:00pm
Address: 91 C St, Washougal
Battle Ground Adventist Community Service: Tuesday 1:00pm to 5:30pm; Thursday 10:00am to 4:00pm
Address:11001 NE 189th St, Battle Ground
North County Community Food Bank: Monday – Friday 9:00am to 11:15am; Monday – Thursday 1:30 pm to 3:15pm
Address: 17 NE 3rd Ave, Battle Ground
Neighbors Helping Neighbors: Tuesday – Friday 10:00am to 12:45pm
Address: 21814 NW 11th Ave, Ridgefield
St. Vincent de Paul Society: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 9:30am to 12:30pm
Address: 11607 NE 87th Ave, Vancouver
Lewis River Mobile Food Bank: 1st and 2nd Sunday of the month
Address: 38615 NE 41st Ave, La Center
Lewis River Mobile Food Bank: 3rd Sunday of the month
Address: Yacolt Community Church 509 W Cushman, Yacolt
Lewis River Mobile Food Bank: 4th Sunday of the month
Address: La Center Evangelical Free Church 111 E. Fifth St, La Center
Woodland Action: Saturday 9:00am to 5:00pm (check in before 4:45pm)
Address: 736 Davidson Ave, Woodland
Kalama Helping Hand: Tuesday 11:00am to 2:00pm
Address: 191 Coverdale Rd, Kalama
Faith Center Food Bank: Thursday 10:00am to 1:00pm, stay in car
Address: 1209 Minor Rd, Kelso
Salvation Army: Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, 2:00pm to 4:00pm
Address: 1639 10th Ave, Longview
Lower Columbia CAP: 3rd Tuesday of the month, 9:00am to 3:00pm, drive up only
Address: 1526 Commerce Ave, Longview
FISH – St. Rose Church: Call in the mornings 9:00am to 11:00am
Address: 702 26th Ave, Longview
Food Lifeline Mobile Food Program at Archie Anderson Park:
274 22nd Ave, Longview
Distributing prepacked boxes and bags
St. Vincent de Paul – Longview Food Bank: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 8:30am to11:30am, drive through. Walk-ins can go to the walk-in area.
Address: 1222 Baltimore St, Longview
Castle Rock Lions Club Food Bank: Thursday 1:00pm to 2:00pm
Address: 224 Huntington Ave. S, Castle Rock
Stevenson Food Bank: Tuesday and Thursday 9:00am to 12:00pm, 1:00pm to 3:30pm
Address: 683 SW Rock Creek Dr, Stevenson