SEATTLE — Food justice is the idea that nutritious food should be accessible to everyone equally. Even when it comes to equity, food is part of the conversation.
Every week, El Centro De La Raza in Beacon Hill fills hundreds of bags with groceries. They focus on adding ingredients that accommodate ethnically diverse needs.
Many people who go to food banks for assistance appreciate what they receive, but desire ingredients that they are more used to preparing.
El Centro De La Raza Food Bank Director Jason Lee said prices of staples like rice and pasta have gone up everywhere, including Asian markets, where it is usually more affordable.
The desire for more healthful and culturally-conscious groceries isn't new.
The Lifelong-Chicken Soup Brigade in Seattle prepares and delivers meals to clients who are in particular need of healthy options. They follow the mantra, food is medicine.
"Everyone we serve needs specific foods in order to stay healthy, or at their best health," Director Paul Getzel said. "We provide the food to help them do that."
Getzel said some of the brigade's clients have HIV, diabetes, or heart disease. Everyone they serve needs appropriate foods in order to stay healthy.
Appropriate foods also apply to what different cultural groups are comfortable preparing. The program packs bags with specific ingredients for AAPI, East African, or Latino clients.
Getzel said staff at the brigade were informed by their clients that the ingredients they used to deliver weren't sufficient. Staff worked with community members to develop diverse grocery packages.
KING 5’s annual Home Team Harvest drive to benefit Northwest Harvest is underway. This year’s goal is to raise 21 million meals.
Ways to donate:
- Online at KING5.com/hometeamharvest
- Text “HOMETEAM” to 41444
- Starting Nov. 1, visit your local Safeway or Albertsons to give $5, $10 or $12 toward grocery cards.
Watch the Home Team Harvest broadcast special on Dec. 3 at 10 a.m. on KING 5, KING5.com and the KING 5 mobile app.