On Monday, January 11th, lawmakers in Olympia gaveled in their opening day for the 2016 legislative session. Hearings have already begun as policy-makers consider new legislation and begin to identify their supplemental budget priorities. This year, Food Lifeline is focused on five key items for our legislative agenda.
- Maintain $800,000 per year included in 2015 to the Emergency Food Assistance Program (EFAP) for food banks. These vital funds help programs serve increasing numbers of clients. Removing them will force food banks and meal programs to cut back their current level of programs and services.
- Maintain 2015 funding for anti-hunger programs. Programs like the State Food Assistance Program, Farmers Market Nutrition Program, and TANF provide an essential safety net that provide millions of meals every year. Rolling back funding to these programs would mean an even larger meal gap than we already face.
- Pass Breakfast After the Bell. Ensure that kids in high needs schools throughout our state have the ability to get a healthy breakfast to keep them going through the day.
- Restore $250,000 to WSDA’s Farm to School and Small Farms/Direct Market Farms programs. Connecting farmers to consumers and local schools makes Washington’s communities and kids healthier and Washington’s farmers stronger. Restore funding cut during the recession to these programs that help Washington’s farm economy and improve access to healthy, locally grown produce for children and schools.
- Raise revenue needed to fund critical programs. After years of continued cuts, it is time to re-think Washington’s revenue system for our new economy to both continue to invest in K-12 education and the programs and services families and kids rely on.
A printable version of our agenda is also available.
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