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. State workers will start receiving layoff notices in the next few weeks, and clients who rely on state funded programs like State Food Assistance will get letters saying that their benefits will end.
Washington faced a similar challenge in 2013, when the legislature passed a final budget only hours before the shutdown would have gone into effect. Unfortunately, it is looking likely that this may happen again this year, or worse, that they may not reach an agreement in time.
Food Lifeline continues to push for a budget that includes additional funding requests for hunger relief programs as well as new revenue, similar to the two proposals that have been released by the House. Senate proposals continue to fall short in their support of these important programs, in part due to inadequate funds to pay for them. We are also urging both sides to come to agreement before the deadline to insure there is no gap in services for our neighbors who need them most.