Nutritional Sciences Program


March 13, 2023

How WA food banks are handling a hunger cliff

Food bank employee carries box of vegetables

The state of food insecurity in Washington state, as changes in federal law that will end $95 million a month in food assistance. Recently published new data from a UW and WSU survey highlights that food insecurity was highest in households made up of people of color, families with children, and among renters.

Fund food insecurity response in WA — and demand national fix

Crowd lines up outside Seattle food bank

Editorial featured in Seattle Times highlights legislative House bill 1784 which provides aencies charged with making sure those who are food insecure are asking the state for an emergency infusion of $28 million to help increase inventories at food banks and other agencies purchasing food and supplies, help manage storage facilities, food delivery and logistics,…

Survey shows food insecurity remains high in Washington state

Food donation boxes packed with food

UW associate professor Jennifer Otten was interviewed in this video and article from KOMO News about the recent results from the WAFOOD survey the impacts on low income households, particularly those with children. How Washingtonians are copying with food and fuel costs is highlighted.

Food insecurity remains high in Spokane and statewide, UW-WSU survey shows

Woman carrying bags of food down a snowy covered street

Dr. Marie Spiker is quoted in this article which highlights the increasing costs of groceries and cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Food Assistance Program (SNAP), and the most recent data from the WAFOOD survey conducted by UW and WSU in December 2022 – January 2023.

March 1, 2023

The pandemic is supposed to be over. Why is Pierce County food insecurity still so high?

Photo of man stocking shelves at food bank

Story highlights WAFOOD research published in 2023 which finds almost half of responding households reported experiencing food insecurity in the past month — with the highest occurrences among BIPOC respondents, households with children and renters. Meanwhile, the overall reliance on food assistance programs and food banks remained high.

SNAP cuts lead to warning of “hunger cliff”

Graphic illustration of a box of food

Story highlighting how pandemic food aid is ending nationwide, and this change in the federal law means more than half a million households in Washington will lose a total of about $95 million a month in food assistance even as food and fuel costs remain high or increase. Data cited in the article was recently…

Food insecurity persists in WA, just as emergency benefits expire

People lining up at NW Harvest food bank

Story provides insight into the region’s looming hunger relief problems citing new data from the UW & WSU WAFOOD survey, and the concern that pandemic-era meal assistance benefits run out this week.

February 23, 2023

Low-income Washington state households still struggling with food insecurity as pandemic protections end

Photo of man shopping for produce in grocery store

Affording food is such a challenge in Washington state that residents who experience food insecurity say their grocery bills are their biggest source of financial stress, more so than paying for rent or utilities. That’s one of the findings of a food survey of Washington residents from December 2022 to January 2023, run by researchers…

January 10, 2023

Nutritional Sciences faculty joins Washington State Food Policy Forum

Jennifer Otten

Jennifer Otten, a faculty member and food systems scholar in the University of Washington School of Public Health will begin a new appointment in January 2023 as a member of the Washington State Food Policy Forum, a cross-sector group formed by the WA State Legislature in 2016 which makes recommendations for improving the food system…

January 4, 2023

Pia Chaparro

Pia Chaparro

Pia Chaparro is a public health nutritionist with training and experience in domestic and international settings, with an overarching focus on addressing social inequities in nutritional outcomes. Her specific research interests include food insecurity, food and nutrition policy, maternal and child health (MCH) nutrition, and the double burden of malnutrition in Latin America. Prior to…

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