Throughout the pandemic, groups of people such as principals, teachers, bus drivers, school nutrition staff and members of community organizations — among others — have come together to work tirelessly feeding kids. They’ve continued to pivot seamlessly to get children food through school and community meals, and ensure families have access to programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Pandemic Electronic Benefit Transfer (P-EBT).

Washington state is lucky to have a broad network of hunger heroes. In the Puget Sound region, organizations like the YMCA of Greater Seattle and local school districts are partnering with affordable housing communities to provide home delivery of meals to students. And, last summer, across the state, new organizations stepped up to serve meals through the Summer Food Service Program, reaching more than 90,000 youths in our state.

Meals and services only reach kids and families because of the dedicated heroes who work constantly to provide for kids. During this season of gratitude, we thank those behind the scenes feeding kids. Nourishing kids today is one of the smartest investments we can make to guarantee they’re ready to face the challenges of tomorrow.

Kristen Dunphey, No Kid Hungry Washington, and Sara Seelmeyer, United Way of King County