Individual fact sheets are available to download below
Download the full AHNC Legislative Agenda here:
2011-2012* Legislative Priorities
367,000 families in Washington struggle to put food on the table.
During these hard times, families face more challenges than ever to make ends meet. Now when it is needed most, the Anti-Hunger & Nutrition Coalition supports a state budget that protects the programs and infrastructure that ensure people can meet their most basic need: food.
→ Maintain the State Food Assistance Program for All Currently Eligible Recipients
Food stamp programs are a crucial source of economic assistance for families that also injects money into fragile local economies. The State Food Assistance program extends the positive reach of food stamps by ensuring their availability to very low-income families and its elimination would deal another setback to local communities by damaging the program’s effectiveness and increasing hunger. The Governor proposed to eliminate all funding for State Food Assistance (SFA) Program for the current biennium and beyond.
Elimination of SFA funding in July 2012 would mean an additional reduction of $13.8 million in the current biennium.
→ Preserve State Funds for Farmers Market Nutrition Programs for WIC and Seniors
Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) operate Farmers Market Nutrition Programs (FMNP) which provide vouchers to low-income mothers, children and seniors to purchase healthy food from local growers at farmers markets across Washington. With only $100,000 in state funds, FMNP leveraged more than $894,000 in federal dollars in 2011 to support local farms and healthy food for poor families.
With sufficient administrative funds in the DOH budget, Washington won’t lose out on federal funds and will avoid eliminating the Farmers Market Nutrition Programs for WIC families and for low income seniors.
→ Maintain Funding for School Meals
Every child in Washington needs access to good nutrition in order to learn, grow and thrive. But hunger continues to climb: the number of hungry households nearly doubled between 2007 and 2010. Nearly one quarter of Washington families with children struggle to put food on the table on a regular basis. Schools meals are a critical part of the child nutrition safety net, supported by a mix of federal, state and local funds.
The State of Washington has strong history of supporting school nutrition programs with strategic funding that ensures quality health, development and education for all children through access to healthy meals.
→ 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.
Since the start of the recession in 2008, food banks receiving EFAP funds have seen a 32% increase in demand for services. The demand continues to climb, with just under 2 million seeking food bank services in the first quarter of 2011 alone.
→ 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 Governor and 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.
*Includes the 2011 special session and the 2012 regular, short session