Washington State’s Emergency Food Assistance Program hasn’t seen a funding increase in 7 years, since before the recession. Here’s why Food Lifeline is making this our top legislative priority this session.
Imagine coming home from the grocery store with 2 full bags of groceries for feeding your family. You’ve got fresh fruits and vegetables, milk, cheese, and lunch meats. Now, imagine all you have to store this food is a dorm room sized fridge. You have the food your family needs, but no place to safely store it.
You've got a food storage capacity issue, and that's exactly what most of the food banks in Washington are dealing with and what is keeping them from providing more nutritious food to hungry people.
Now is the time for the Washington State Legislature to start fixing this problem by increasing funding for the Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP).
Plenty of wholesome food is available, ready for food banks to distribute to hungry people. We know this because Food Lifeline procures it every day from our region’s grocery stores, food distributors, farms and more. But it can’t go to hungry people in need if their neighborhood food bank doesn’t have safe and adequate storage space for this donated food.
This is where we expect the Washington State Legislature to make some smart investments in the Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP). EFAP provides funding to food banks to purchase food, but it also pays for necessary expenses at food banks, like food storage, transportation and the electricity to keep food pantry refrigerators cold. EFAP has not seen a funding increase in nearly 7 years, meaning it’s operating at pre-recession funding levels. During this same time, food banks across our state have been weathering an average 40% increase in the number of people coming to them for food assistance.
Increasing the state’s EFAP budget by $1 million dollars this session would help food banks in every single legislative district and could leverage an additional 3 million meals.
Ready to lend your voice in asking our Washington State Legislature to increase the Emergency Food Assistance Program’s budget? Take 2 minutes right now and add your name to this community petition.