New Member Meetings

Attend a New Member Meeting and get a one-time credit on initiation fees. New Member Meetings are held at 9am and 7pm on the second Thursday of every month at the Seattle office, Silverdale office, and Mount Vernon office. You can also attend a New Member Meeting immediately following any General Membership Meeting (GMM) which are held quarterly at locations around the state. If you have questions about a New Member Meeting in the Spokane area call 1-800-732-1188.

Beyond Wages and Benefits

The most important benefit of being part of a union is that you and your co-workers have a voice in decisions that affect your work life. And by acting together, union members can improve working conditions, benefits and wages for themselves and improve the communities we all live in.

At the same time, a tough economy in our state means more and more people are facing hard times. If you or a co-worker is in immediate crisis, or have other needs like banking, discounts on purchases, or help with filing your taxes, the following information may be helpful.

The services and assistance referenced here are made in an attempt to provide helpful information to our members. UFCW 21 cannot assure the quality or accuracy of the information provided by the organizations and institutions. As always when doing banking, housing, financial or other important consumer decisions, you should read information closely to insure your protection.

UFCW Scholarships

UFCW 21 offers many scholarships for students. Scholarship applications become available in the beginning of the year.
Visit our Scholarship Page to learn more.

In addition, each year the UFCW International awards scholarships as well.

General Assistance

2-1-1 Community Information Line. By dialing "211" on your local phone, you'll reach this information line which offers expert assistance and help accessing community resources such as help with rent, food, and low cost legal services.


Basic Food (also called Food Stamps): 1-888-436-6392. Basic Food provides money to buy food using an Electronic Benefits Transfer Card (EBT). EBT cards work like debit cards. You can spend your monthly benefits in participating grocery stores. To find out how much your family's monthly benefit could be, call the Family Food Hotline at 1-888-436-6392.

Equal Housing Lender

The Union Plus Mortgage Program can make buying or selling a home or refinancing a mortgage easier and more affordable. Features for UFCW 21 members include Home Planning Partnership Program workshops every month, as well as first-time home buyer programs, member-only savings, and mortgage assistance in the event of layoff, disability, or strike. For more information call 1-866-910-2247.

Union members, their children and parents are eligible to participate in the Union Home Services Program and can receive a 20% rebate on the commission of a home purchase or sale. This can amount to several thousands of dollars. To learn more, call: 1-877-779-0197.

Union Plus offers free and confidential credit counseling and discounted debt assistance. Call 1-877-833-1745.

Unemployment Insurance

Need to get unemployment? Call 1-800-318-6022.

Crisis and Suicide Hotlines

24-Hour Crisis Line - Call 1-866-427-4747 for immediate help for individuals, families and friends of people in emotional crisis.

The National Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-784-2433 to reach the National Suicide Hotline.

Domestic Violence

Washington Statewide Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-562-6025

"Peace in the Home" domestic violence line: 1-888-847-7205 connects domestic violence victims to a social worker of their language & culture in the Seattle area.

Seniors and Families

Senior Services: 206-448-5757 (TDD: 206-448-5025). Ask to speak with the Information and Assistance Department.

Important Information for Families: or hotline at 1-866-585-1123 helps Washington State families apply for health and food programs online, and locate resources in their local communities. The website has health information for pregnant women, parents of new babies, and families with children.

Health Care

Apple Health Insurance for Kids: 1-877-543-7669. A family of four making less than $47,000 (47,700) and a family of three making less than $39,000 (39,580) are eligible for free coverage for their children through apple health for kids. A family of four making less than $71,000 (71,550) and a family of three making less than $ 59,000 (59,376) are eligible for low cost coverage for their children through apple health for kids.

Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) Helpline: 1-800-562-6900.

The Statewide Health Insurance Benefits Advisors (SHIBA) Helpline provides free health insurance education, assistance, and advocacy to all Washington residents.

Health and Wellness Benefits

UFCW 21 members at different workplaces have different benefit plans. The health plan you have depends on your contract.

UFCW 21 members at Safeway, Albertsons, Fred Meyer, QFC, Bartell, Rite Aid, and many other stores receive benefits through the Sound Health & Wellness Trust. Representatives of both UFCW 21 and representatives of employers are jointly responsible for running Sound Health & Wellness.

UFCW 21 members at several other health care facilities are also covered by Sound Health & Wellness. Many health care workers, as well as some other retail and industry workers, are covered by their employer-based plans. Again, these are bargained as part of your contract.

For more information on the Sound Health and Wellness plan, visit

For all information and questions related to a different benefit plan (such as an employer-administered plan), please contact your employer.

If you believe your employer is not providing the benefits in your contract, contact your Union Representative.

Education Program

We believe in the promise of America. A promise that our children can lead better lives than ours. A promise that with hard work and standing up for our rights, we can make a decent living that includes a good wage, health care, and retirement.

As part of that belief, there are many opportunities for members to learn to advance their learning and skills. A key part of that can be in becoming a Steward, getting involved as a leader in a Bargaining Committee or Contract Action Team.

Members are also encouraged to get active in the political and lobbying work to make better laws and get strong candidates elected to office and there are chances throughout the year to participate in these activities. 

Another opportunity is our annual scholarship program.


Letter to the Editor

Letters to the Editor are one of the most widely-read sections of a newspaper and a powerful way to deliver a message to thousands of readers and decision-makers.

Tips for Writing Your Letter

A letter-to-the-editor is a rare chance to have your exact words read by a wide public audience. Because newspapers receive thousands of letters and they only publish a handful each day, your letter needs to stand out of the crowd. Following these 7 tips will increase your chance of getting your letter printed.

  1. Be personal. Say how and why the issue affects you and your family.

  2. Be opinionated while being reasonable and showing respect for others.

  3. Be timely. Relate your letter to something that is in the news right now.

  4. Be real. Quoting legal language or policy studies can cause eyes to glaze. Effective public outreach uses common sense language. People care about their homes, health, jobs and loved ones as well as basic American values of freedom, integrity and accountability.

  5. Be creative. By using a counter-intuitive argument or an interesting or humorous turn-of-phrase you will catch the editor's attention.

  6. Be focused. It is a waste of limited time, space and energy to repeat your opponent's point of view.

  7. Follow the rules. If you limit your letter to 200 words and include your name, address and day time phone number, you will comply with most paper’s rules.

Contacts for your local newspaper

The Daily World

Auburn Reporter

The Reflector

Bellevue Reporter

The Bellingham Herald

The Northern Light

Bothell-Kenmore Reporter

Kitsap Sun

Cheney Free Press

Ellensburg Daily Record

Everett Herald

Federal Way Mirror

The Federal Way News

Grandview Herald

Kent Reporter

Kirkland Reporter

New Member Meeting

UFCW 21 also holds New Member Meetings to help explain the benefits of having a union and how the union works. Members receive a $50 credit toward their initiation fee for attending a New Member Meeting in their 1st six months.

New member meetings are held quarterly at each regular General Membership Meeting.