2021 WA State Hunger Relief Capacity Report

Harvest Against Hunger, in partnership with the University of Washington School of Public Health and the Washington State Department of Agriculture created a Washington State Hunger Relief Capacity Survey to assess the current capacity and future needs of organizations providing hunger relief services in Washington State.

The 2021 report is the third of its kind. Information shared in this report is drawn from a statewide Capacity Survey of hunger relief organizations. Since March of 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted all aspects of the food system, from supply to consumer affordability, and has increased demands on service providers. Thus, the 2021 Capacity Survey sought updated information to: Further understand how the broader hunger relief landscape has responded to COVID-19, Identify current capacity limitations and challenges throughout the food security system, and Identify opportunities to enhance the distribution of food resources. 

The Capacity Survey partners also wanted to better understand how service delivery and needs varied among all hunger relief organizations, including those that are “in-network” and “out-of-network.”


  1. Distribution models changing in response to COVID have increased capacity and financial needs. However, the food security network is also trending toward more efficient and effective operations. Investments at this moment are therefore more likely to have a greater and longer-lasting community impact.
  2. Capitalize on the current window of opportunity for investment and action.
  3. Improve human resources proportionally and sustainably, in tandem with investments in infrastructure, physical, and financial resources.
  4. Optimize capacity and food processing through partnerships with local agriculture.
  5. Implement specific, tailored regional approaches.
  6. Develop strategies to distribute investments and resources equitably across regions and a variety of organizations and program models.

Below are links to the Executive Summary and the full report. There is significantly more data that was collected through the survey. For additional details or to view the original data, please contact david@harvestagainsthunger.org