Food Programs and Resources for Professionals

An overview of resources that will help you connect families to needed food and assistance programs. Some of these programs have eligibility criteria and may not be available to all families. Adequate food is critical in early learning and school success for children. However thousands of families face a daily or periodic struggle to put food on the table. Use the resources below to help connect your clients to needed food.

The Family Food Hotline 1-888-436-6392

Call to speak with a resource specialist about local food banks, food assistance programs, the WIC Program, and the Summer Meals Program. Staff are bilingual (English and Spanish) and can assist clients in over 150 languages via free telephone interpreters.

Basic Food Program (Food Stamps)

Basic Food is the Food Stamp Program in Washington State. Basic Food helps lower income families buy food with an Electronic Benefits Transfer Card (EBT). EBT cards work like debit cards. Participants can spend monthly benefits in participating grocery stores. Learn more about the Basic Food Program.

DSHS Basic Food Benefit Estimator

To estimate your client's Basic Food benefit amount, call the Family Food Hotline 1-888-436-6392 or use the DSHS Benefit Estimator.

Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC)

The WIC program provides healthy foods, nutrition tips, breastfeeding help and referrals to lower income pregnant and breastfeeding women and children under the age of five. WIC clients receive checks for up to $50 per month to buy healthy foods at their local grocery store. Getting WIC will not affect your client’s immigration status. Learn more about the WIC Program.

The ParentHelp123 Resource Finder

Find a Food Bank, WIC clinics and other resources for your client by using the Resource Finder. Visit the Resource Finder.

Summer Meals

The Washington State Summer Food Service Program (also known as the Summer Meals Program) is one of the federal nutrition programs that provides free meals and snacks to children and teens during the summer. Summer meal sites are located in schools, parks, recreation centers, community-based organizations, faith-based organizations, camps and more. All kids and teens (18 years and younger) are eligible for the program. No proof of income, address or citizenship is ever required.

To find meal sites in your community this summer, use the Summer Meals Search Tool.

Use the Summer Meals Resource Toolkit to promote Summer Meals in your area.

To learn how you could bring a summer meal site to your community, contact: Sue Waldin, Partnership and Training Coordinator at WithinReach 206-830-7646.

Children in cafeteria