Thurston County Food Bank SNAP Ed Program
The Thurston County Food Bank has been working to educate clients about healthy food choices increasingly since 2003. It has been expanding the supply of fresh produce and other healthy perishable foods through its extensive network of food pantries, developing local collaborative relationships and increasing the infrastructure to support more fresh foods. Its Nutrition Education program works in food bank locations, schools, and community organizations to provide nutrition education to eligible populations through classes, outreach events, and through policy, systems, and environmental changes. The Nutrition Education Team works across Food Bank programs to support the prioritization and promotion of healthy food options and physical activity. Additionally, the Thurston County Food Bank operates a School Backpack program that provides weekend meals for homeless youth, a School Garden program at five elementary schools, a Summer Meal program that provide lunch meals for low-income children.
The Thurston County Food Bank’s role as a regional redistribution organization (RDO) for two nonprofit networks and under contract with Washington State Department of Agriculture (WSDA) creates opportunities for leveraging current partnerships and increasing SNAP-Ed program reach. Thurston County Food Bank has hundreds of relationships with individuals, businesses, and organizations in its community partners that it leverages in its work to end hunger in Thurston County. By connecting different sectors and generations, it is able to create collective impact for change, and provide a continuity that acts as a bolster to our community.