Press Releases

187,000 Washingtonians Would Lose Food Assistance Under House GOP’s Spending Cuts

DelBene visits food bank to highlight the impact cuts would have on families

Today, Congresswoman Suzan DelBene (WA-01) visited the Volunteers of America Western Washington food bank to highlight the impact that House Republicans’ spending cuts would have on Washington families.

Last week, Republicans passed a bill that would cut federal programs by 22% and add stricter work requirements to the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP). This would result in 187,000 Washingtonians losing access to food assistance.

With fewer people receiving federal support to put food on the table, it will put increased demand on charitable food banks. Higher food prices are already straining these facilities’ budgets.

“Federal food assistance programs help hungry families put healthy meals on the table. House Republicans are trying to cut these services while giving tax breaks to the ultra-rich and big corporations. This morally corrupt plan will further stretch the capacity of our food banks and mean there will be less to go around,” said DelBene. “I will keep fighting to prevent these cuts so Washingtonians can get the food they need to stay healthy.”

“Food insecurity remains high in the communities that VOA Western Washington serves. Changes to supplemental assistance, such as reduced or eliminated funding, create new challenges to the way we supply food and resources,” said Brian Smith, Interim CEO, Volunteers of America Western Washington. “We hope that support for our food banks and pantries continues to be a priority for our legislative partners.”

Of the estimated 187,000 that would lose benefits, 150,000 people would drop off SNAP and 37,000 would be cut from the Women, Infants, and Children (WIC) program, increasing child poverty and hunger.

DelBene strongly opposes the Republican plan and is pushing for a clean bill to avoid a federal default and protect these critical programs. Her remarks against the bill can be watched here.

Other local organizations involved in nutritional support opposed these cuts.

“Nearly half of all respondents in a recent University of Washington study are experiencing hunger. Cutting food assistance in this time of unprecedented need is not just cruel policy—it is wholly out of touch with the everyday experience of worry about where the next meal for a family will come from,” said Thomas Reynolds, CEO, Northwest Harvest. “These cuts not only hurt household food budgets, they hurt all of us when households have less money to buy food, further damaging our economy when local farms, grocers, and food businesses lose revenue and have to cut jobs.”

“It’s more than just cutting funding to feed thousands of seniors. It also removes funding for supporting their stronger mental health, building social interactions, increasing general health, and creating a foundation for a positive future,” said Erica Polney, Homage.

You can watch DelBene’s remarks at the event here.

A summary of how Republicans’ plan will impact Washington can be found here.