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Hunger Alert: Food Benefit Cuts Will Impact Over One Million Washingtonians

Posted by Kim Justice at Oct 24, 2013 08:30 PM |
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On November 1st, over one million people in Washington state will lose a portion of the help they receive to buy food.  Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits, that were increased under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), are scheduled to expire and congressional lawmakers have not taken action to prevent the impending cut.

According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities,  our state will lose $114 million in federal funds— money that gets spent directly in our economy (1). Families will see their benefits reduced by about 5.5 percent. For a family of three, that’s $29 less per month (see graph), leaving parents and children with an average of about $1.40 per person per meal in 2014(2).

cbpp snap

The 2009 Recovery Act was enacted in response to the impact of the Great Recession. As part of the Act, food benefits were temporarily increased to help alleviate the downturn’s hit on families and provide direct economic stimulus to states. While Washington state is in a slow recovery mode, with revenues ticking up slightly and unemployment easing, our resources still have not returned to pre-recession levels and many families are still struggling. The cut will make it harder for families to make ends meet and undermines the building blocks of a prosperous economy.

 

1. Stacy Dean and Dottie Rosenbaum. “SNAP Benefits Will be Cut for All Participants in November 2013,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, August 2013. 

The loss of federal funding will occur from November 2013 through September 2014, affecting the 2013-15 WA state biennial budget.

2. Ibid

 
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HIGHLIGHTS

Legislative Testimony

Senior Budget Analyst Kim Justice recently testified before Senate Ways and Means against a bill that would fund education at the expense of other budget investments. Watch it here. 

Kim 5881

Inside Olympia

Executive Director Remy Trupin appeared on TVW's "Inside Olympia" to discuss the budget, revenue options, and the impact of the McCleary decision going forward. The whole interview can be found here. 

Remy TVW -March 14


Budget Matters 2013

More than 300 people -- advocates, students, lawmakers, and policy experts joined us for our second annual policy conference. We heard from Heather McGhee, Jared Bernstein, and Governor Inslee.

Click here for video clips, photos, and PowerPoint presentations from the break-out sessions.

Our new video has highlights from the day. 

Heather McGhee


Save the date for this year's conference: Friday, December 12th, 2014 at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle.