Food Bank Visits

While food bank use for younger age groups has declined since the recession, the number of older adults relying on them has continued to increase

 

Who uses food banks?

In fiscal year 2018 (July 1 2017 to June 30, 2018), 250,203 King County residents visited a food bank at least once, representing over 1 in 9 King County residents. Each client made an average of 8.8 visits to food banks.

King County children were consistently the most likely to need food banks. In 2018, 15% of children used food banks, compared to 11% of adults. Among food bank clients in 2018, 27% of the people served were children and 23% were adults age 55 and older. The remaining 50% were adults age 18-54.

Changes over time

Food insecurity increased at the start of the recession in late 2007, as the number and percent of King County residents using food banks increased sharply in 2008.

As the economic impact of the recession faded, the picture brightened for children and adults age 18-54 as the number and percent using food banks declined through the present year. In contrast, the number of older adult clients continued to increase to 2018.

Only food banks that participate in the Emergency Food Assistance Program are represented in this data. While most food banks participate in this program, some do not, and their clients are not counted in these numbers. It is therefore likely that this data underestimates the true scope of food bank use in King County.

 

Notes & Sources

Source: Washington State Department of Agriculture, Food Assistance Programs, Emergency Food Assistance Program: https://agr.wa.gov/foodprog/