In a three part blog series, we examine Western Washington’s hunger safety net, which is made up of food banks and meal programs throughout the state as well as government funded programs like SNAP, school meals, WIC, and programs for seniors. With Food Lifeline’s Missing Meals report, we are able to get a comprehensive look at how the safety net meets the needs of hungry Washingtonians, while also taking into account how much work is still left to do.
Hunger News and Trends
Food Lifeline’s Hunger in America 2014 survey revealed that nearly half of Western Washington’s food bank client households have someone with diabetes or high blood pressure. It should come as no surprise that not having access to food impacts an individual’s health. Hunger is associated with a
For the second time this year, our member food banks and meal programs gathered together for a regional workshop. Our network of 275 food banks, meal programs, and shelters operate all over Western Washington, so we were excited by the chance to meet with many of the agencies from Kitsap, Mason, Clallam and Jefferson Counties.
We got word that Congress may be drafting language for the next Child Nutrition Reauthorization bill. The current legislation expires September 30 of this year – at that point Congress needs to have either enacted new legislation or pass a continuing resolution for the included programs to continue operation.
Last night the Washington Legislature passed a final budget agreement and has sent it off to Governor Inslee to sign just in time to avoid a government shut down. While this is good news in itself, the even better news is that funding was included for all of the budget requests we’ve talked about this year!
With the deadline for a state government shutdown looming, the Washington Legislature has been unable to come to agreement on a final budget. This week, food banks throughout the state started receiving notices that if a budget is not passed they will not receive EFAP funds from the state that many of them rely on to get through the difficult summer months.
Last week the legislature wrapped up its first special session without passing a budget. However, both the Senate and House did release new budget proposals last week.
The Senate’s budget proposal spends an additional $242 million, mostly from increases in expected revenue from current sources. Even with the added funds, this budget falls short in supporting any of the anti-hunger programs you’ve been fighting for, and does not include any new, sustainable revenue sources.
I just returned from San Diego where I had the chance to meet with 15 other Feeding America CEO’s for 2 ½ days. We talked about a lot of topics unique to our shared world of food banks. However we also talked at length about the lingering effects of the recession, and how growing income inequality in our country is impacting our work in so many ways.
Interested in keeping up with the latest research on hunger, but short on time? Here are short summaries of three recent articles on hunger-fighting programs.
The current location for the University District Food Bank in Seattle is a mere 800 square feet in size and has limited storage, shopping space, and no waiting area for clients. Even though they are one of the smallest, they are one of the busiest food banks in the city.
But there’s good news – they’re moving in to a new home!