Increasing Equitable Access to Nutritious Foods in Washington

What we eat and drink matters to our heart and brain health. Unfortunately, many households in Washington State struggle to put healthy food on the table. Many factors impact if an individual or family has nutritious foods available, accessible, affordable and can utilize healthy foods that promote well-being and prevent and treat disease. We also acknowledge that nutrition security disparities are a health equity issue; many marginalized communities continue to experience negative health impacts as a legacy of disinvestment and oppressive practices, which have manifested as high rates of food insecurity and chronic diseases. The American Heart Association is working to increase nutrition security to ensure that everyone in all communities can live as healthy as possible.

Did You Know?

  • 27% of Washington households experience food insecurity. (WAFOOD Survey, July 2021)
  • Communities of color are disproportionately impacted by food insecurity due to compounding structural factors. In WA: 40% of Black households, 37% of Hispanic households compared to 25% of White households.
  • Close to one million people in Washington receive SNAP (food assistance). Nearly 2/3 are children, older adults, and people with disabilities.
  • 249,356 kids in the Puget Sound are eligible for free or reduced-price lunch.
  • 43% of Washington households said their diets worsened during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Making an Impact

Addressing Nutrition Security in Washington

Learn about the American Heart Association’s work and impact to address nutrition security in Washington.

More Produce for King County Families

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the American Heart Association collaborated with WaFd Bank and Food Innovation Network on an emergency feeding project for those who needed support.

Ballard Food Bank's Commitment to Health

Ballard Food Bank

In Ballard, many residents continue to experience the economic and social impacts of discriminatory practices like gentrification. Ballard Food Bank joined forces with the American Heart Association to mobilize their commitment to fight for communities disenfranchised by systemic injustices by increasing access to nutritious, culturally relevant foods.

Get Involved