Friday July 13, 2012
The 2012 Legislative Session is underway. AHNC will continue to send you critical action alerts and updates each week as we work to preserve and protect hunger and nutrition programs. A copy of our full legislative agenda, which outlines our priorities, is available for your review by clicking here or see below.
Right now most conversations with lawmakers are focused on educating them about the critical impact of our legislative priorities and the need to preserve these programs. To preserve programs in this continued deficit environment, advocates are strongly urging Democratic and Republican lawmakers to keep all revenue options on the table.
Action Alert: Register for Hunger Action Day TODAY. Hunger Action Day (HAD) is Friday February 3rd. To secure an appointment with your legislators, you must register as soon as possible. Click here to register and get more information on HAD 2012. You can secure a hotel room at the Governor’s hotel for a reduced rate; reservations must be made by January 18th. Please share this information with colleagues, board members, clients and networks.
Federal Action Alert: President Obama is completing work on his FY2013 budget recommendations, due out in early February. Anti-hunger advocates must urge the President to continue his support for SNAP and other nutrition and low-income safety net programs. This includes restoration of the SNAP benefit boost scheduled to be cut in 2013. To read more and take action click here
Our 2012 Legislative Priorities
Maintain the State Food Assistance Program for All Currently Eligible Recipients
Last year the legislature approved cutting food stamp benefits for legal immigrants by 50% . This year the Governor proposed to eliminate the program altogether – cutting $13.8 million from DSHS’ budget. .
Preserve State Funds for Farmers Market Nutrition Programs for WIC and Seniors
To prevent elimination of FMNP, the state must provide match funds to ensure federal funding continues – $100,000 will secure federal funding and ensure the state has the capacity to administer the program on behalf of seniors and WIC families, though the program would be significantly smaller – up to 70% reduction in FMNP benefits. Without those funds, the program will be eliminated altogether.
Maintain Funding for School Meals
Last year, the state legislature cut $6 million from child nutrition programs at a time when over one million children benefitted from reduced or free school meals. Further reductions could eliminate state co-pays to school districts for reduced priced breakfast and lunch, and place free meals in jeopardy.
Continue Strong Support of the WSDA Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP)
The Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) provides crucial funding to local food banks around the state. Food banks depend on EFAP to pay for food, transportation and operational costs. 325 food banks statewide receive EFAP funding to provide the vital service of distributing unprepared food to households who can’t afford to put food on their tables.
Support a Balanced Approach to the State Budget
In just the past three years, our legislature has already cut $10 billion from education, healthcare and other essential services. Cuts have been felt in all programs, including hunger-relief programs, and we urge the legislature to take a balanced approach to addressing our state budget that includes new sources of revenue and by reviews and reforms our current tax exemptions and expenditures.
Upcoming meetings and events
Fri., January 20: Harvest Against Hunger Area Summit, Washington Food Coalition (Everett)
Thurs., February 9: Have a Heart for Kids Day, Children’s Alliance (Olympia)
Thurs., March 15: Hunger Summit, United Way of King County
March 19-24:Hunger Action Week, United Way of King County
Fuse Washington has been holding forums and field meetings addressing the need for revenue as a part of the budget. We urge you to attend and share this information with your networks.
Tuesday, Jan. 24 (6:30-7:15pm)
MAC Museum Auditorium
2316 West 1st Avenue
Spokane, WA 99201
Olympia Field meeting:
Thursday, Jan. 26 (6:30-7:15pm)
MORE INFO TO COME
MORE INFO TO COME
WithinReach is currently hiring for a new Executive Director, see their website for more information.