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.
Hunger News and Trends
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!
It’s hard to imagine that people who have worked all of their lives could struggle with finding food in what we so wistfully call their “golden years”. But it’s a sad truth. A truth that Food Lifeline is determined to change.
That’s why, this year, the Mobile Food Pantry program is focusing on a growing vulnerable population, seniors. So our new location in Renton is definitely a cause for celebration.
The regular legislative session ended on Friday, two days early, but they still haven’t passed a budget. Now what? Lawmakers announced last week that they were likely to go into at least one special session given the difficulty in budget negotiations up to this point. The Governor has announced that he will call legislators back for a 30-day special session on Wednesday, April 29. He will be bringing budget negotiators together before that, however, with the hopes of keeping conversations going.
At Food Lifeline, we see every day why support from local, state, and federal government is so important for the hungry people we serve. This year we’ve been fighting to maintain and increase funding for important hunger relief programs in Olympia. We’re also trying to change our state’s current revenue system which continues to harm those working hardest to stay on their feet.