Earlier this month Congress passed a bipartisan budget agreement for 2017. It included increased funding for TEFAP and fully funded the expected caseloads for other federal nutrition programs like SNAP, WIC, and school meals.
It has been a very busy session in Olympia for hunger fighters. From an early Hunger Action Day to a new take on Breakfast After the Bell, there’s been a lot of action. March 8th was the cutoff for bills to move out of their first chamber, either the House or the Senate. There are three bills we’re keeping an eye on that made it past this benchmark and are now working their way through the Senate:
The latest food security data released by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that the food insecurity rate has continues to fall but still has not reached pre-recession levels. Nation-wide, 13.7% of households were food insecure in 2015, a significant decline from the 2014 rate of 15.4%. The number still remains above the pre-recession food insecurity rate of 12.2% in 2008.
We’ve been talking for many years now about the challenges Washington faces in closing the summer meal gap and meeting the needs of kids who rely on free or reduced school meals during the school year. Well, this year we have some good news! The Food Research and Action Center’s (FRAC) latest Hunger Doesn’t Take a Vacation report shows that Washington state improved by every measure for kids taking advantage of summer meal sites.
On Thursday, June 2, tucked away in a quiet corner of the East Wing at Kent Meridian High School, a group of students gathered to show off a lot of hard work they’ve been doing for the last few months – telling their story through pictures.
By now you’ve probably heard that parts of Washington State lost their ‘ABAWD Waiver’ at the start of 2016. This means that certain SNAP recipients in King, Snohomish and parts of Pierce Counties may have lost their benefits after a three month time limit on April 1. Generally, able-bodied adults without dependents (ABAWDs) are between the ages of 18 and 50, able to work and not receiving benefits in the same household as a child.
After several months of anticipation the House has its own Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) bill (read about the Senate version here). Unlike the Senate version, the bill is not a bi-partisan bill supported by committee members on both sides of the aisle. Unfortunately the news is not good.
Food Lifeline has participated in the Regional Food Policy Council (RFPC) representing the non-governmental anti-hunger organization seat. The RFPC “develops just and integrated policy and action recommendations that promote health, sustain and strengthen the local and regional food system, and engage and partner with agriculture, business, communities and governments in the four-county region”.
Early this month I had an awesome opportunity to attend the Anti-Hunger Policy Conference in Washington, DC, sponsored by Feeding America and the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC). It was an action packed three days with amazing speakers, connecting with food banks and anti-hunger advocates from around the country, and even learning a little bit too. Here’s the day by day!
We’ve been discussing Child Nutrition Reauthorization (CNR) for a while now. Our previous blog post lays out the basics of the programs and why they’re so important to our work to end hunger in our region.
On January 20th, the Senate Agriculture Committee brought forward their version of a CNR bill. While the actual bill has many, many pieces to it, here are some of the highlights: