Northwest Farmers Fighting HungerHelp the Northwest Farmers Fighting Hunger cash/food drive to Help Food Lifeline Today Friday, June 12, Downtown Bellevue QFC store

The 3rd Annual Northwest Farmers Fighting Hunger Project during June dairy month provides cash/food donations to Food Lifeline food banks when demand for food increases as school breaks for the summer.  More than half or 250,000 children in Western Washington lose school access to free/reduced breakfast/lunch, with less than 10 percent having access to summer meal programs.  NW dairy farmers launched for online cash donations, and partnered with Fred Meyer and Quality Food Center stores in Washington and Oregon for food/cash donations in the two states.

Northwest farmers and ranchers show their year round commitment to fight hunger by donating more than 13.5 million pounds of food, including 30,000 gallons of milk, to food banks.  Unfortunately it still isn’t enough to meet demand.  That’s why the Dairy Farmers of Washington and Oregon started Northwest Farmers Fighting Hunger. Last year’s Northwest Farmers Fighting Hunger project generated 37,714 pounds of donated food and cash equivalents.

The national school breakfast and lunch nutrition program follows building blocks for a healthy diet found in the ‘My Plate’ dietary guidelines according to Dairy Farmers of Washington Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist Martha Marino.  The important thing to note is that most school children will miss out on good nutrition – fruits, veggies and milk — from school breakfast/lunch programs during summer months.

“Many parents pay extra for daycare during the summer months which puts an added strain on their family budget and must look to food banks for extra help” she says. “The Northwest Farmers Fighting Hunger Project encourages Fred Meyer and QFC customers to make cash donations online or in their neighborhood store which will support food banks in the two states.

About the Northwest Farmers Fighting Hunger Project –  Northwest dairy farmers are leading the Northwest Farmers Fighting Hunger (NWFFH)  project  during June dairy month, as a cash/food drive that responds to increased demand on area food banks, when school breakfast and lunch programs are suspended during summer break.  The project is developed in cooperation with the Washington and Oregon Departments of Agriculture, Fred Meyer and Quality Food Center stores.  Last year more than 700,000 children In Washington and Oregon public schools qualified for free or reduced-price lunches.   Cash and food donations benefit Feeding America affiliates Food Lifeline in Western Washington, 2nd Harvest in Eastern Washington, and the Oregon Food Bank.