Seattle to give $5 million in grocery vouchers to families affected by COVID-19

SEATTLE -- Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan on Monday announced a program that will provide $5 million worth of grocery vouchers to families impacted by COVID-19 closures.

The vouchers, redeemable at Washington Safeway stores, will give about 6,250 families $800 worth of food, cleaning supplies and household goods. Families will qualify if they are currently enrolled in City of Seattle-supported child care and food assistance programs.

“We know that working families in Seattle are already struggling because of the COVID-19 pandemic. As schools and child care facilities close, we need to do everything we can to support families and ensure they can put food on the table,” said Mayor Durkan. “Our city has been working on many new unprecedented efforts as it relates to housing assistance, meals, and small businesses, but we know it is not enough for the families struggling. Ultimately, we will need an unprecedented relief package from Congress to address the long-term consequences for working people who are already feeling the impact of this global pandemic.”

According to Durkan's office, the vouchers will be distributed by the Office of Sustainability and Environment in two $400 installments which will be delivered by mail as soon as this week.

The vouchers exclude certain items such as tobacco, alcohol, lottery tickets, and fuel.

"I am heartened the City will be able to provide assistance for our most vulnerable families, regardless of status, to food access,” said Council President Lorena González. “In this time of uncertainty, having food on the table is one way that families can keep things feeling normal. I am immensely grateful to the grocery workers who are vital to making this possible by coming to work every day and serving our communities during this crisis."

The city is updating this page with the latest resources for Seattle residents and small businesses.

Here's more information on food assistance from the City of Seattle:

Food Support for School Students
Beginning Monday, March 16, Seattle Public Schools (SPS) will be distributing lunches from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. every weekday at 26 school sites throughout the city. All SPS students can participate. Additional information about meal pick-up will be shared with families tomorrow. These 26 sites will become central locations for family and student resource distribution. Lunch distribution sites can be found on the SPS Family Resources for COVID-19-related Page.

Food Support for the Rainier Beach Community
Starting Friday, March 13, WA-BLOC and FEEST Seattle are providing free hot lunch for students in the Rainier Beach Community every Tuesday and Thursday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Rainier Beach Community Center plaza while schools remain closed. More information is at WA-BLOC's Facebook page.

Northwest Harvest SODO Community Market
Northwest Harvest SODO Community Market is offering pre-bagged produce, prepared foods, and shelf-stable groceries right at the door. There is no need to enter the facility. This is open to anyone of ANY AGE. SODO Community Market is located in Seattle's SODO neighborhood at 1915 4th Ave S, near the corner of 4th Ave S & S Holgate St. More location and transportation information can be found here.