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Opinion >  Letters

Protect families from hunger

Since 1967 Northwest Harvest has been fighting hunger in Washington state. We provide over 25 million pounds of food each year – 800,000 pounds from our Spokane warehouse – to over 325 food banks, meal programs and schools thanks to donors, volunteers and businesses. We firmly believe, however, that nonprofit programs cannot replace public food assistance programs.

Sadly, the Senate on March 2 dealt a serious blow to low-income families by eliminating the state Food Assistance Program, Washington’s food stamp program for legal, documented immigrants who are ineligible for federal food stamps.

This will directly hurt 31,000 individuals, including 12,500 children. It will also hurt tens of thousands more people who don’t receive benefits but do rely on food programs.

Will the doors be open?

Northwest Harvest’s partner programs are already serving 40 percent more people than before the recession. The need keeps rising, yet many nonprofit programs are seeing dwindling food donations. Some agencies have closed due to a lack of food.

Nonprofits can do a lot, but we can’t do it all and we can’t do it alone.

Please join us in urging our Legislature to protect families from hunger by protecting the state Food Assistance Program.

Shelley Rotondom

Executive director, Northwest Harvest



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