The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation donated $1 million to a fund helping food banks across Washington as they continue to see an increased need amid the novel coronavirus outbreak.

The WA Food Fund, which launched in April, has so far raised more than $8 million and is continuing to fundraise.

“Food assistance is a critical need for people in Washington, with data indicating the economic impacts of COVID-19 will make food and nutrition insecurity an ever-increasing challenge over the summer,” said Paul Keating, on behalf of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, in a statement. “We are grateful to the many volunteers, donors, and leaders that support food banks and other food programs across our region, and humbled to work with other funders to provide meals and much needed services to help strengthen communities.”

Donations to the WA Food Fund are given to three organizations -- Food Lifeline, Northwest Harvest and Second Harvest -- which then distribute supplies among all food banks across the state.

More than 1 million people across the state have filed for unemployment benefits since the start of the pandemic. People in Washington are struggling to afford rent, food and other basic necessities as many remain out of work. At the same time, donations to food banks and other organizations have dropped.

A report released last month from Northwest Harvest estimated 2.2 million people across the state could be food insecure "during the month of peak need in 2020."

"The gap between demand and supply may be greatest in August or December, depending on the peak in unemployment claims and the timing of federal enhancements to unemployment insurance benefits," the report said.

City and state officials have been working to provide relief to people in the region, through grocery vouchers and other grants. But it likely isn't enough to meet the continued need.

“As joblessness hits our state, we need to acknowledge that it disproportionately affects communities of color and how racism has long contributed to food insecurity,” said Kiran Ahuja, CEO of Philanthropy Northwest. “Fighting hunger in our state is one way to address the racial inequities that COVID-19 magnified, and we’re fortunate that the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation shares that concern and is helping families in need.”