Our main focuses for ensuring the access to healthy foods are:
- Increasing WIC enrollment
- Training staff on EBT enrollment and integrating EBT outreach into existing appointments
- Implementing Farm to School programs
- Conducting nutrition education
- Partnering with farmers markets to accept EBT and senior vouchers
Basic Food Outreach, Healthy Eating, and Food Insecurity
The Basic Food Program (or SNAP or EBT) is a federal program that helps people to afford a nutritious diet by providing eligible households an electronic benefits card with monthly benefits to buy food at participating grocery stores. EBT benefits are used just like a debit card and are accepted at most grocery stores. Benefits are renewed each month.
For more information, click HERE.
Food Access Coalition
In 2013 Community Health Outreach of United General District 304 convened a Food Access Coalition to increase low-income residents’ access to and consumption of healthy foods, especially fresh fruits and vegetables. The coalition meets on the second Monday of each month to discuss strategic ideas to accomplish this goal.
Food Access Coalition partners have:
- Contracted with Skagit Community Action to conduct EBT outreach;
- Partnered with Sedro-Woolley Farmers Market to introduce a Double EBT program;
- Expanded nutrition and culinary education activities at Skagit County food banks and meal programs;
- Organized presentations to explore ways to better serve local hunger needs;
- Collaborated to increase participation in Summer Food Programs; and
- Planned county-wide events to call attention to local, state, and national hunger.
A final success of the Food Access Coalition is its evolution into an emerging county-wide Food Access and Food Systems Group. A catalyst for this is United Way, whose Skagit County chapter originally started the 1095 Skagit movement to ensure all children are fed three meals a day, 365 days of the year. The combined group is reviewing food systems groups in other communities, to come up with ideas for structure, function, and reach of the Skagit group–which is tentatively called Community 1095.
- Skagit Community Action & Food Distribution Center
- WSU Skagit County Extension
- United Way
- Skagit Valley Farmers Market Coalition
- Mount Vernon and Sedro-Woolley Farmers Markets
- Skagit County Food Banks
- Farmers and community organizers
- Concrete Farm to School team
- Additional community partners and guests