Each year Food Lifeline works with volunteers, partners, and legislative champions to advance important hunger relief priorities during Washington’s state legislative session. Issues range from appropriations for food assistance and other basic needs programs, to school meals and policies that can help people access job training.
We need help from the agency network! Negotiations over the Farm Bill are intensifying in Congress. The timeline is uncertain, but the threat of devastating cuts and eligibility changes to SNAP are well known. To push back, Food Lifeline, Northwest Harvest, the Anti-Hunger & Nutrition Coalition, and the Washington Food Coalition, along with others want to partner with you on a statewide campaign to protect SNAP and related basic needs programs.
What’s Happening in Olympia?
Hunger Action Day was Monday, Feb. 5 - hunger relief advocates from across the state convened in Olympia to meet with legislators, hear from legislative champions, and celebrate the pending passage of the Breakfast After the Bell bill. Every single state lawmaker received a visit on Monday from hunger advocates, including Food Lifeline staff.
The cause of hunger comes in many forms and so does its solutions! Some hunger is solved at the community level by local businesses, volunteers, or organizations - like Food Lifeline. Other times, it's the role of government to organize a response. An example of this is the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which is the nation’s first line of defense against hunger.
Another Hunger Action Day has come and gone, and as always, it was a day full of action and passion! Each year, the Anti-Hunger & Nutrition Coalition organizes an energetic lobby day that brings together anti-hunger advocates from across the state. Created as a day to help people speak directly to their elected officials, Hunger Action Day brought over 100 passionate advocates to Olympia on Monday, January 23.
Washington State has a breakfast problem. More specifically, Washington State has a problem when it comes to ensuring low-income children have access to breakfast year-around. In February, the Food Research & Action Center (FRAC) released their annual School Breakfast Scorecard, which measures how many low-income students participate in the federally funded School Breakfast Program.
Every September marks Hunger Action Month. The whole month is dedicated to raising awareness about hunger and food insecurity in our communities. Today, 1 in 7 people in Western Washington struggle to fill their plates, their cupboards, and their stomachs. Several of our partner agencies held community-wide events during the month of September to fight hunger and raise awareness in the towns, cities, and counties where they live and work.
At the end of June, our Public Policy team paid a visit to some of our partner food banks in Pierce County. Taking the day to explore, we visited the Sumner Community Food Bank, the Eatonville Family Agency, SE Tacoma FISH, and St. Leo’s Food Connection in Tacoma. We also had a few special visitors stop by some of the food banks with us!
The 2016 Washington State regular legislative session began on January 11th and ended on March 10th. The Legislature was called into special session by Governor Inslee immediately following the close of regular session because they had not passed a supplemental budget. On March 10th, expressing his frustrations with the legislature’s inability to negotiate a supplemental budget, Governor Inslee vetoed 27 bills.