Supporting Nutrition Assistance
Ensuring people have access to local and nutritious foods is an absolute necessity. Recently, I met with local nutrition advocates and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) recipients to talk about the importance of protecting nutrition programs in the upcoming farm bill. It’s important to remember that these investments not only have an incredibly positive effect on our economy, but also on people’s lives.
During negotiations of the last farm bill, I successfully added an amendment that created a $200 million pilot program based on Washington’s successful Basic Food Employment & Training program. Our state received $22 million of that money to start the Resources to Initiate Successful Employment program. These funds help those on nutrition assistance become self-sufficient by giving them the specialized training and education needed to increase their earning potential.
House Republicans are expected to release their farm bill proposal as early as March. Based on their comments and the President’s FY19 budget proposal – which would cut $213 billion from nutrition programs – their plan is widely expected to include deep cuts to SNAP. What’s more, Speaker Ryan has also said he’d like to add work requirements on those who receive nutrition assistance. Eliminating nutrition assistance for people trying to find work doesn’t help if jobs are not available and they don’t have the skills to succeed.
That’s why instead of forcing work requirements, we should look at legislation like my bill, the SNAP Work Opportunity Act, which would protect – not punish – these individuals. As farm bill negotiations begin, I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure these programs are preserved to expand economic opportunity by helping people find good-paying, long-term employment in a high-demand industry.
contact me through my website. You may also keep up-to-date on what I’m doing by following me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. If you need assistance dealing with a federal agency, such as the IRS or the VA, please do not hesitate to contact my Bothell office at (425) 485-0085.