Seattle Human Services Department announces $4.2 million investment in senior and anti-hunger programs

Seattle, WA – Today, the City of Seattle’s Human Services Department (HSD) announced $4,267,406 in awards through two separate HSD programs to provide food and meal assistance and senior centers to support the most vulnerable seniors, families and individuals in Seattle. This funding is available through HSD’s general fund and will be available January 1, 2015 – December 31, 2015.

“Vulnerable seniors need support services and too many families are facing hunger in neighborhoods throughout Seattle,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “Both of these programs serve critical needs, but we must make our funding decisions strategically. Given that we have finite resources to respond, we must target our investments where they have the most impact.”

“These funds will support local nonprofit organizations that do great work every day on the front lines to serve the most vulnerable in our community.” said John Okamoto, Human Services Department Interim Director. “As stewards of public funds, the Human Services Department has an obligation to ensure that financial investments make measurable impacts communities most in need.”

In an effort to institute performance-based investments, HSD has opened a competitive process for Senior Centers funding for the first time since the program inception. This is the first competitive process for the Food and Meals program since 2007. By using data to steer HSD’s investments to nonprofits who serve the community’s most food insecure and seniors who are most at risk, HSD is better able to ensure that the City’s limited resources are being directed to our most vulnerable residents and to programs that can best leverage the investments for maximum impact on reducing disparities.

Both the Food and Meals and the Senior Center Request for Proposals were rated and reviewed by panels that included external subject matter experts such as funders and key community stakeholders to ensure transparency, neutrality and accountability.

The Community Support and Assistance (CSA) division of HSD is awarding 26 agencies at a total of $3.1 million to provide food and meals to low income individuals and families who are food insecure through the 2014 Food and Meal Request for Investment. Funding will be used for direct food access programs including food banks, home delivered meals, and meal sites and programs and includes support and coordination, food purchase, and food system transportation and distribution.

Nonprofit organizations that serve Seattle residents and demonstrate at least two years of successful experience in providing food or nutrition related services or two years of experience in serving those at greatest risk of food insecurity including low income Black and Latino households, families with children, immigrants and refugees, older adults, and persons in emergency and/or homeless situations were eligible to apply.

The Aging and Disability Services (ADS) division of HSD is awarding 11 Senior Centers a total of $1.1 million to services for older adults in the City of Seattle through the 2014 Senior Centers Request for Investment. This investment will serve approximately 17,000 Seattle older adults.

Nonprofit senior centers or agencies that met the following criteria were eligible to apply: provide dedicated space within the Seattle city limits for older adults to gather for drop in visits and scheduled programming and activities; operate a minimum of 20 hours per week and a minimum of three days a week; provide the following services and activities: 1) Food and Nutrition Programs; 2) Health Promotion, Wellness and Fitness; 3) Education, Recreation, Socialization and Personal Growth; 4) Social Services; and 5) Outreach; and have two years of experience in operating a senior center or in providing services and activities in at least three of the five categories listed above for older adults.

Senior Center funding was prioritized for eligible participants with the highest social and economic needs, including older adults who are low income, in poor health, ethnic and cultural minorities or limited English proficient.

Find the complete list of awards here.

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The Human Services Department funds and operates programs and services that meet the basic needs of the most vulnerable people in our community – families and individuals with low incomes, children, domestic violence and sexual assault victims, homeless people, seniors, and persons with disabilities. We invest in programs that help people gain independence and success.

All materials and updates to the RFI are available on HSD’s Funding Opportunities web page at www.seattle.gov/humanservices/funding