Friday, January 13, 2012

Food Policy Week: State Food Assistance

At Lettuce Link, we combat hunger and injustice by building community, supporting gardeners, and donating to the emergency food system. Donations are necessary - but so is lasting, systemic change.

We need to enact just policies around food, farming, and government assistance to people living in poverty. So, while the garden is put to bed for the winter, please join us in getting your voice heard.

Washington State: State Food Assistance

We've written before about the State Food Assistance Program, which uses state funds to provide SNAP (food stamp) benefits for legal immigrants who are ineligible for federal food assistance programs. Governor Gregoire's budget proposes eliminating the State Food Assistance Program in July of 2012.

 According to a fact sheet from the Washington State Anti-Hunger and Nutrition Coalition, it only takes a loss of $11 per person per week to push a family on a tight budget into hunger. If the State Food Assistance Program is cut, families that rely on this money may loose enough to put them in a dire situation. For more information on this and other legislative agendas for 2012, visit the Washington State Anti-Hunger and Nutrition Coalition and the Children's Alliance

Other safety net programs that are in danger of loosing funding provide cash assistance, medical assistance, housing vouchers, prescription drugs, medical interpretation and other essential services to people living in poverty. While not all government programs on the chopping block are directly food-related, they have a huge impact on people’s ability to provide for their families.

Our colleagues at the Statewide Poverty Action Network have launched a campaign to raise awareness and lobby our legislators called Save Our Safety Net (SOS).

Get Engaged! 

Come to a lobby day in Olympia! We’ll be there – will you? If you’ve never been to meet your legislator, this is a great way to get your feet wet!
Poverty Action at the Capitol, Monday, January 16th
Hunger Action Day, Friday, February 3rd
Don’t know who your state legislator is? Find your Congressional District here.

Happy advocating, and stay tuned for more ways to be involved! 

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