The YFS Food Pantry experienced a 2% drop in visits from 2018 to 2019. This is down slightly from the year before which had also experienced a decrease from the preceding year.
This year the Family and Emergency Assistance Program assisted 12 low income families with children (regular food pantry users) move into affordable housing off of Mercer Island. Affordable housing will allow these families to spend less of their income on rent and more on other needs. In 2019, of the households assisted with rent/housing costs, 40% had never received any type of prior emergency assistance from YFS.
It is too early to determine if this recent decrease in food pantry use is part of a longer downwards trend or a plateau of use.