The following post was written by Mike Cox, FamilyWorks’ Food Bank Manager.
You may have heard or seen something in the news recently about proposed legislation that would affect food security for vulnerable populations here in Washington State. Below we’ve put together an easy way to help you let your state senator and representatives know that food security is an important part of the safety net for many people in Washington state and that funding for these emergency programs is vital to keeping families healthy.
You can start by using the link below to find your legislative district and your legislators.
Here in the 43rd District (near FamilyWorks), our legislators are:
• Rep. Brady Walkinshaw – firstname.lastname@example.org
• Speaker Frank Chopp – email@example.com
• Sen. Jamie Pedersen – firstname.lastname@example.org
Clicking on your senator or representative’s name will take you to a page where you can find their email address. Click on the address and cut paste the following message. (Be sure to include a personal message if you’d like.) Believe it or not, these emails actually provide a lot of impact in influencing our legislators.
(email text below)
(Senator _____,) or (Representative __________,)
1 in 7 Washingtonians have trouble affording enough food to eat. No one in Washington should be hungry. Please help hungry families with a state budget that includes fair, sustainable revenue to protect and strengthen our public safety net.
• Maintain 2014 funding levels for the Emergency Food Assistance Program to help our network of food banks meet the need for services that remains higher today than during the recession.
• Preserve current funding for the Farmers Market Nutrition Programs that help low-income seniors and families on WIC purchase nutritious food from Washington’s farmers at their local farmers markets.
• Restore full benefits to the State Food Assistance Program to provide Washington’s newest residents, including nearly 15,000 children, with the food stamp assistance they need to buy nutritious food.
• Support efforts to increase participation in school breakfast, restore the TANF grant, housing and other services to ensure that low-income families can meet all of their basic needs.
(Please add your personal message and information to this email here)
Katie Showalter, a Journey Home case manager at Solid Ground, which is also in the same building as FamilyWorks, wrote a great note about her experience with our food bank. Journey Home works with homeless families in King County to find housing placement.
Katie had come to the food bank to get a box of food for one of her clients and her note illustrates how important it is for families to have regular access to food and the fact that anyone can face a disaster that leaves them needing resources. Katie’s entry into our food bank also shows how important social service partnerships are!
Here is what she said:
“I wanted to thank you and all the staff at the Family Works food bank… I have a family who lost their last permanent housing due to a house fire and they are now homeless and working hard to get back on their feet. Despite working part-time they do not have the income [to provide enough food through the end of the month]. My client called and said that they would not have any food for four days until their food stamps came. I asked [volunteer David Tate at the food bank] if I could access an emergency food box and [David] was SO HELPFUL and KIND and GENEROUS in the food that [he] provided. My client was in such gratitude and so happy [to get] milk, cereal, soups, peanut butter, fresh fruit and vegetables and was THRILLED to get salmon!
The work that you do [at the food bank] every day has a huge impact on our community and I greatly appreciate your generosity.”
In our ninth and final entry to our April Storytelling series we’re featuring one of our fantastic community partners, Jordan Schwartz. You may know Jordan as the founder of the Wallyhood blog.
Jordan believes FamilyWorks’ model of service is unique and is having a profound impact on our community. In his video Jordan shares what he believes sets FamilyWorks apart from other service organizations.
FamilyWorks Stories – Jordan from Family Works on Vimeo.
Tomorrow is GiveBIG!
You can help us nourish, connect and empower our most vulnerable neighbors even more tomorrow by making a donation through GiveBIG.
Tomorrow only, when you make a donation to FamilyWorks through the Seattle Foundation website a percentage of your donation will be matched, increasing your impact on our community!
To join us and “Give Big”, click here tomorrow and go to the FamilyWorks page on the Seattle Foundation website and then click on the “Donate Now” link.
Thank you for joining us!