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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).

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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

Watch the Poverty Forum Video

If you missed the half-day Poverty Forum that we co-hosted with Partners for Our Children in May 2016, you can watch it on YouTube now. It features a range of speakers and panelists talking about policy solutions for addressing income inequality and poverty in our state.

Our Legislative Agenda

Our agenda for the 2015-2017 biennium calls for an equitable, sustainable revenue system in addition to state investments that: promote a world-class education system; sustain a strong middle class; produce living-wage jobs, and ensure that all Washingtonians have equal opportunity to get ahead. 

Testimonies in Olympia

We testified in support of a number of important bills during the 2016 legislative session. Take a look:

  • Our testimony (at the 23:23 minute mark) on the House Bill that would take a two-generation approach to preventing poverty 
  • Our testimony (at the 1:54:09 mark) on the House bill focused on aerospace-related tax breaks
  • Our House testimony (at the 9:25 mark) and Senate testimony (at the 1:44:54 mark) on the two-generation approach to poverty prevention bill 

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