food stamps

Gabriel Spitzer / KPLU

With summer approaching, families who rely on school lunches have to make plans for how to fill the gap. United States Sen. Patty Murray says the answer is to subsidize their grocery shopping.

There’s already a big federal program – the Summer Food Service Program – to serve lunches to kids who qualify for food subsidies. Speaking at a Central Area elementary school, Washington's senior senator said those programs can be hard to access, as families have to bring their kids to designated locations during certain hours. Her office said just 10 percent of Washington children participated in 2012.

Sen. Murray wants to put a debit card in the hands of each of those families that they can use to buy food, much as one would use food stamps.

Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

Washington state policymakers are pondering whether to make an end run around looming cutbacks in the federally-funded food stamp program.

This would mimic what Oregon and three eastern states just decided to do.

Lynn Friedman / Flickr

An estimated 1.1 million low-income people in Washington state, or 1 in 6 residents, will find less money in their monthly food allowances starting Nov. 1.

That’s because food stamps, otherwise known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), are being cut. For most families, their monthly food allowance will be reduced anywhere between $11 and $36.   

USDAgov / Flickr

The recession has brought a major spike in the number of Washington families who experience hunger, according to data from advocates and federal officials. Hunger has gone up all over the country, but the U.S. Department of Agriculture finds that Washington has fared worse than the country overall.

Food stamps are getting cut in half next week for many of Washington’s legal immigrants. They were cut to help balance the state’s budget.

The food assistance goes to about 11,000 families. Counting their children, that could be nearly 30,000 people impacted statewide, according to estimates by the Children's Alliance, and advocacy group.

They’re immigrants who came here legally, from countries all over the world. Many have their "Green Cards," which means they have permanent resident status. Others are here under other programs.