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SNAP News from DC & Week 2 Update from Olympia

On Tuesday, USDA retracted two harmful rule changes that would have taken food off the tables of struggling households that count on SNAP to help them afford basic nutrition. The proposed changes to Broad Based Categorical Eligibility would have kept working families with children, low-income seniors, and people with disabilities who live on fixed incomes from being able to apply for SNAP even though they can’t keep up with the costs of living for basic essentials. Another rule would have slashed benefits for nearly 80% of our SNAP caseload, forcing them to choose between food or affording their utility bills. None of these changes are helpful, but especially so during a pandemic which is causing a hunger crisis in our state and throughout the country.

That means you did it! You heard our call last year for public comments opposing these rules, and our collective work has paid off. Thank you!

Meanwhile, back in this Washington, we’ve had the following developments on our legislative agenda:

  • We provided testimony last Friday in Senate Early Education and K-12 on SB 5128, a bill that will help preserve school transportation funding by extending the permission to count delivery of meals and other essentials for remote learners as a reimbursable cost. School bus delivery of meals is critical to keep busy, working families from missing out on nutritious meals for kids, and the more meals served means more federal dollars for our state.
  • HB 1151 had a hearing on Tuesday. This bill gives transitional food assistance to families with kids on SNAP to help them afford food and other essentials as they work their way back to economic stability.
  • Introduced this week are three bills we’ll be tracking: HB 1297 will provide Recovery Rebates to working families, including immigrants who pay taxes but who have been largely ineligible for tax relief. SB 5214 will increase access to cash assistance, workforce training, and support services for families with children living in deepest poverty. HB 1342 brings back some unfinished work on eliminating the co-pay for low-income families so that their children can eat school lunch for free.

This week has also been a Week of Action to call on lawmakers to support the progressive revenue we need to make these investments in our families, our schools, and our health and to prevent harmful cuts to these services needed to rebuild our economy.

Join us for Hunger Action Day!

Register today for Hunger Action Day: February 12. We hope you can join us in urging lawmakers to invest in food, housing, health, and economic wellbeing. Participate in our daily trainings throughout the week so that you’ll be ready for your Friday legislative appointments. All training and legislative appointments will be online.

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