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Fiscal Cliff: 230,000 Working WA Families "At Risk"


December 5, 2012

Seattle, WA – Hundreds of thousands of local working families stand to lose vital assistance in the “Fiscal Cliff” budget-cutting debate. Local advocates say many are already juggling multiple jobs and have little chance of making ends meet when it comes to heating their homes and feeding their families. Comments from Linda Stone, food and policy director for the Children’s Alliance and Jim Weill (while), president, Food Research and Action Center. Image available: Baby with groceries.

Intro: As the nation edges closer to the so-called “fiscal cliff,” hundreds of thousands of Washington families could face tough choices, such as whether to heat their homes or feed their families. Linda Stone with the Children’s Alliance says many of these Washington families are already juggling more than one job and have little chance of being able to both heat and eat with the cuts pending in the Senate version of the Farm Bill.

Cut 785098 :14 "Cut the benefits of 230,000 Washington Households by up to 90 dollars a month; what you are basically doing is taking away a week of food money for families who are trying to make ends meet and make sure their kids aren't hungry."

Tag: Currently Washington State is allowed to coordinate SNAP food assistance with Low-Income Household Energy Assistance benefits, but Stone says changes in the Farm Bill could deprive many from getting that “heat and eat” help.

Second Cut: Some proponents of the cuts say they are needed to help trim the deficit, but Jim Weill of the Food Research and Action Center says it’s the wrong way to go.

Cut 795098 :16 "The public doesn't want to cut the food-stamp system as a way to solve the deficit. 75 percent says that cutting SNAP is the wrong way to reduce spending, and the opposition is across the board from Democrats, Republicans and independents. They all think this is just a bad idea."

Third Cut: Stone says these federal benefits don’t just help local families, they also fuel jobs for the workers at the checkout counter and those who keep food on the shelves at the local supermarket.


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