The House and Senate Agriculture Committees have voted to approve the Farm Bill which funds U.S. farm, food and nutrition policy. As part of the vote, the Senate approved cutting the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (food stamps or SNAP) by $4.1 billion over 10 years. The House cuts were considerably deeper, at $20.5 billion.
The full Senate will begin deliberation on the Farm Bill next Monday. We must urge Senators Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell to oppose serious cuts to SNAP and restore benefits to struggling families, including over 1 million Washingtonians who rely on the program to place food on their tables.
As legislators prepare for the special session starting May 13, you have an additional opportunity to let lawmakers know that hunger exists in their districts and that revenue is needed to fund vital hunger relief programs that support your neighbors in need.
Here are three easy ways you can reach out to your legislators in the coming weeks:
1. Schedule a meeting. Many legislators will be spending time in their home districts before returning to Olympia May 13. Contact them to schedule a meeting at their office or a local hangout. Find your legislator's contact information and request a face to face meeting outside of Olympia to talk about these important issues.
2. Make a phone call. Make a personal phone call to tell your own story about how hunger has impacted your life, the life of someone you know or how hunger relief programs make a difference in your community. Find phone numbers for your senator and representatives and give them a ring!
3. Send an email. Personalize an email with a message describing the real need within your own community for hunger relief programs. Enter your zip code below to get your email started.
Want to help but aren't sure what to say? Contact Food Lifeline's public policy team for hunger facts and stories, and tips for talking to your legislators.
Washington's state Senate, House, and Governor have released their budgets. You can read more details below but the bottom line is this: the failure to invest $3.7 million in the Emergency Food Assistance Program makes it more challenging for individuals and families to access food and find their way to financial independence. The legislature will vote soon on these budets so now is the time to make your voice heard.
Neither the Senate nor House budgets provide additional funds for the Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP). This program keeps the lights on and shelves stocked at food banks that continue to see record demand. Since the start of the recession, visits to food banks have increased by 35%. An additional $3.7 million towards EFAP would help food banks across our state keep their doors open and feed all the hungry people coming in their lines.
The current Senate budget increases funding for State Food Assistance and partially restores Farm to School and Small Farms Direct Marketing but failed to increase revenue. This means deeper cuts to programs that help lift people out of poverty including childcare for working families and services for seniors and the disabled. Cuts to these programs mean individuals and families have less income to buy food, undermining the modest increases to hunger relief programs.
The current House budget also provided partial funding for Farm to School and Small Farms Direct Marketing but took a key step by developing a revenue package providing $1.2 billion in income for the state.
This Friday, March 1st, is the rapidly approaching deadline for sequestration.
Without an agreement between lawmakers we'll see across the board cuts in programs, including many that help feed our country's most vulnerable citizens. Now is the time to speak out and let your lawmaker know that you oppose automatic spending cuts that harm our country's low income women, children and seniors.
If no action is taken by Congress before Friday this means an 8-10% cut in programs like:
All this means that more people in our community will be faced with hard choices, like whether to buy medications or heat their homes or to buy food for their families.
On December 20, the House is set to vote on Boehner's “Plan B” and H.R. 6684, the Spending Resolution Act of 2012. These bills would cut vital programs including food stamps and eliminate benefits for millions struggling to put food ont he table. Please contact your Representative and urge them to vote NO on these to bills.
If you can’t come to Olympia for Hunger Action Day 2013, you can participate in our online lobby day! Please sign our online petition to lawmakers asking them to ensure Washington families don’t go hungry in these tough times.
We request your home address so we can ensure your comments are delivered directly to your representatives. We will not use your address for any reason other than locating your home district.
The Farm Bill, which establishes U.S. farm and food policy, passed the Senate by a vote of 64-35 with significant cuts made to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (“SNAP” or food stamps). An amendment proposed by Senator Gillibrand would have restored the $4.5 billion in cuts to SNAP, but was soundly defeated 66-33.
Senators Murray and Cantwell opposed cuts to SNAP and co-sponsored the Gillibrand Amendment. With over 46 million Americans relying on SNAP to put food on the table, we are grateful our Senators recognized the importance of this vital anti-hunger program. Please join us in thanking them for their support.
The House Agriculture Committee last week passed $16.5 billion in cuts to SNAP. As the Farm Bill moves forward in the House for a vote, we will continue to need your help fighting against deep and painful cuts.
The Farm Bill is moving to the Senate floor. The Farm Bill funds critical food assistance and nutrition programs, including food stamps. It also provides food and operational funds for food banks.
The Supplemental Food Assistance Program (SNAP or food stamps) is facing at least $4.5 billion in cuts, resulting in 240,000 Washington households each losing $90 in benefits per month. Follow the link above to contact Senator Cantwell and Murray, and urge them to prioritize programs that provide food and nutrition to our most vulnerable neighbors.
State lawmakers voted to pass a budget that maintains funding for vital anti-hunger and nutrition programs, including school nutrition, the Farmer’s Market Nutrition Program (FMNP), the Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP), and State Food Assistance!
Please take the time to thank your lawmakers for funding these important programs. In a time of competing interests and a serious budget deficit, we appreciate their hard work and commitment to feeding those in need.
Please click on the link to send a “Thank You” to your state lawmakers.