Successful Hunger Action Day and Update on Policy Cutoff

Thanks to everyone who braved the elements to attend Hunger Action Day on Friday in Olympia!

Our numbers, carrots, and orange scarves made a real impression on the Capitol Campus. Thanks to everyone who made the day work so smoothly – particularly to Kate for her leadership, the entire planning committee for their organization, Rachael for making a zillion appointments, and everyone else involved. If you did not have a chance to write down comments on the meetings you had on Friday, feel free to email Carrie. The information from the meetings is incredibly valuable to folks who are down in Olympia working our issues.

As everyone at Hunger Action Day heard on Friday, the first bill cut-off was Friday. If bills had not made it out of their committee of origin, they were dead. This Tuesday is the deadline for bills with fiscal impacts to move out of the House Appropriations or Senate Ways and Means Committee, and by the end of Feb. 18, bills need to be passed by their house of origin to survive.

 

Breakfast After the Bell Bills:  House Bill 2536/Senate Bill 6444  

It was an exciting and eventful week for the Breakfast After the Bell bills! HB 2536 appeared to be dead on Wednesday, only to be revived on Friday with passage out of the House Education Appropriations Committee. The Senate version of the bill, SB 6444, was passed on Thursday by the Senate Early Learning and K-12 Education Committee. The Senate bill is on the schedule for a hearing in the Senate Ways and Means Committee this afternoon. The committee may vote on some of the bills heard.

ACTION:           

    • If you have compelling stories or quotes about the importance of school meals, childhood hunger in your community, etc., please send them to Lauren McGowan at UWKC, LMcGowan@wukc.org.

 

Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP)

More than 190 organizations and 350 individuals signed on to the community letter of support for additional EFAP funding!  The letter will be delivered to lawmakers this week as a follow up after Hunger Action Day. Thanks to all who signed on!State Food Assistance (SFA)  

The Children’s Alliance wrapped up the House member sign on letter and the community sign on letter last week. The community letter has 71 signatures and was distributed as part of the Hunger Action Day packets for legislators. Many thanks to everyone who talked about State Food Assistance in meetings with legislators! As the bill furor calms down, budget conversations will heat up. The next revenue estimate is Feb. 18; we should see the House and Senate Supplemental budget shortly after.

 

Farmers Market Nutrition Programs

Rep. Tana Senn wrote and is circulating a sign-on letter from members of the House urging Rep. Hunter to include $500,000 in the budget to invest in the WIC and Senior Farmers Market Nutrition Programs.

ACTION:

    • Click here to see the letter, share it with your representatives, and ask them to sign on.

 

Federal Update:  2014 Farm Bill Signed Into Law

The 2014 Farm Bill passed both the US House and Senate and this past Friday, February 7th, was signed into law by President Obama.   While there were some wins in the final bill, we were very disappointed to see that the 2014 Farm Bill included a cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) in the amount of $8.6 billion over 10 years. This will result in 232,000 Washington households experiencing a drop in benefits up to $90 per month.

Read the new WithinReach blog to learn more about what the Farm Bill is and what the version that passed means, both the good and the bad.

Again, thanks to everyone who attended Hunger Action Day or signed the online petition!! Please don’t forget to follow your Friday meetings with a short note to thank your members for their time and consideration.