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Contact: Babs Roberts, DSHS Community Services Division Director, Babette.roberts@dshs.wa.gov
Contact: Kathy Spears, DSHS Public Affairs Media Relations Manager, Kathleen.spears@dshs.wa.gov
September 19, 2013
Food assistance bonus to end November 1

OLYMPIA – Food assistance benefits through the Federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will be reduced for more than a million Washington residents on November 1, following the October 31 expiration of the federal government’s American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

A family of three receiving the maximum benefit amount will see a reduction of $29 a month from $526 to $497. 

A temporary increase in the food benefits – known as Basic Food in Washington state - began in April 2009 to help people affected by the Great Recession and to help stimulate local economies.

Households that receive help through the state-funded Food Assistance Program for legal immigrants also will be affected by the reduction. This is because those benefits are set at 75 percent of SNAP benefit levels.

"The temporary increase in benefits that was included in the federal stimulus bill has helped many people with basic food needs during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression," said David Stillman, assistant secretary for the DSHS Economic Services Administration. "We ask organizations and groups that work with low-income individuals and families to help spread the word about the coming reduction so that people can begin now to plan and prepare for it."

To find a food bank for help with food, go to www.agr.wa.gov/FoodProg/Map/

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DSHS does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.