This week’s E-News is focused on food security. Along with health care and grocery workers, “another large group of hidden heroes in this crisis are the agricultural workers who guide our food from the field to the store — and who continue their critical work despite the threat of exposure to coronavirus.” This photo and article was shared last week in The Stand, with a letter from Sen. Karen Keiser and Rep. Mike Sells.


Protect SNAP in the Next Relief Packages

The most recent COVID-19 congressional relief package was signed into law last Friday and will begin to go into effect this week. As conversation begins for the 4th relief package, we need your voice to urge your members of Congress to prioritize funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). As we are seeing the exponential rise in unemployment, hunger in our state and nation has skyrocketed and food lines continue to grow. FAN is joining with our anti-hunger partners in Washington and across the country in calling Congress to provide four things in the next relief package:

  • Increase the maximum SNAP benefit by 15%
  • Increase the minimum SNAP benefit from $16 to $30
  • Suspend the Administration’s rule changes that would terminate or cut benefits
  • Temporarily suspend the SNAP rule requiring eligible students to work 20 hours per week to receive benefits. A survey last fall found that 41% of students attending community and technical colleges were food insecure.

Take Action!

FAN joins a strong, interfaith, national coalition in working against rising hunger during COVID-19. Please join us by taking action today! Email or call your Congress members using your own words inspired by this template:

As your constituent and a member of Faith Action Network, I urge you to ensure the SNAP program is protected and strengthened to address the food insecurity and hunger people in our state are experiencing during COVID-19. We ask you to include the following provisions in the next relief package:

  • Increase the maximum SNAP benefit by 15%
  • Increase the minimum SNAP benefit from $16 to $30
  • Suspend the Administration’s rule changes that would terminate or cut benefits
  • Temporarily suspend the SNAP rule requiring eligible students to work 20 hours per week to receive benefits.

Thank you for your public service.

Click each link to send a message to your two Senate and one House members:

Don’t know your Congressional District? Find your Representative at house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative.

See these resources for more background information:


Census Activities for Children

Is your faith community committed to reaching 100% participation in the 2020 Census? Are you looking for new activities for children and youth in your faith community to do at home? Try these Census Activities for Children!

FAN is sharing a dozen Census 2020 activities that span from an activity book for preschoolers in English and Spanish to exploring data on Who has Access to Internet at Home? for middle and high schoolers. All these highlight either the ongoing census process or how our communities and country use census data to make decisions about work, social services, and political representation.

Other home activities include: Make Your Own Survey, Languages We Speak, Plan Your Dream Home, and Find Gina the Geographer for elementary students; Mothers’ Day Fast Facts for anyone; and Women at Work for older students. We would be happy to share links and pdfs with your faith community that you can provide to your families. Contact Elizabeth Dickinson at dickinson@fanwa.org, and she will provide you the links. We hope these activities will provide a little family fun and encourage people to complete the census.

Here’s another reminder to share in your digital communications:

COUNT FOR YOUR COMMUNITY’S HEALTH!

Emergency preparedness. A new health care center in your community. Affordable well-child visits and prenatal care. Identifying distribution points for supplies in a disaster. Care for diabetes or COVID-19. All of these are enabled by the US Census.

Washington State in 2016 received $8.5 billion in census-driven health care funding.

We all deserve good health care. Show your care for your neighbor by completing your Census 2020 questionnaire today! Get started online at 2020census.gov, by phone at 844-330-2020 for English, 844-468-2020 for Spanish, or TDD other languages, or by mail.

We also have a reminder flyer we are printing for faith communities that may still be doing essential food distribution or other in-person services to households, like low-income or elderly persons. Please contact us at fan@fanwa.org if you would like us to mail some flyers to you. Follow FAN on Facebook and Twitter for homegrown videos and real-time response data!


FAN Spring Summits!

FAN annual summits are still being planned for May and June, and will likely be virtual gatherings over Zoom. Please save the dates, and we will send more information about times and registration soon:

Southwest WA – Sunday afternoon, May 17
Spokane area – Sunday afternoon, May 31
Puget Sound area – Sunday afternoon, June 7
Yakima, Tri-Cities – Sunday afternoon, June 14

Did you catch our list of legislative successes we celebrated in the 2020 session? See the full list on our website. Thank you for your tireless efforts for justice this year, and stay tuned for opportunities to advocate year-round as we seek a more equitable and sustainable state for all.