396,000 Washington families now struggle every day to put food on the table.
Families face increasingly tough challenges to make ends meet and put food on the table. Over the past three years, the number of hungry families grew by 85% across Washington. Now when it is needed more than ever, our coalition supports a balanced approach to the state budget that restores and protects our state’s hunger relief system so we can ensure our neighbors can meet their most basic need: food.
2014 Legislative Agenda
Restore full funding for the State Food Assistance Program (SFA)
Food stamps are our first line of defense against hunger. That’s why we’re continuing the campaign to restore this program that provides state funded food stamp benefits for legally residing, Washington immigrants who are ineligible for SNAP so that their benefits will be equal to what Washington households on Basic Food receive, just as the law creating SFA intended.
Strengthen the Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP)
Food banks have already been taking the hit, seeing longer lines of clients and deeper need for services during this sluggish economic recovery after the recession. The need will only deepen as clients face cuts to SNAP/Basic Food. We’re asking the state to increase funding for food banks to help provide some back fill for these cuts to SNAP.
Reinvest funding in the Farmers Market Nutrition Program for WIC and Seniors (FMNP)
FMNP provides vouchers for low-income seniors and families on WIC to purchase fresh, locally sourced produce at farmers markets. Both of these programs are very popular yet funding has not kept up with demand. Increasing funding for these programs will enable DSHS and the Dept. of Health to provide more vouchers to clients. More vouchers will mean more nutritious food for those most in need of that support and more income to help our state’s small farms.
The most recent economic forecast shows some but very little growth in anticipated state revenue such that economists are saying that growth is essentially flat. We need additional, sustainable sources of revenue to fund the priorities that we’ve determined are necessary to move the needle on reducing hunger in Washington and to restore and strengthen other important programs and services that help low-income families meet their basic needs. We are thankful to every single one of you who voted in our member survey-you gave us 100% support to advocate for efforts to close outdated tax expenditures, increase transparency in the creation of tax expenditures, and find new, sustainable sources of revenue that increase fairness to our tax code.
Download information about our priorities here:
To read about our past Legislative Agendas, Click Here.