Washington State House Democrats


Washington is getting a bonus for our food assistance program

Legislative News from Representative Mia Gregerson (D-SeaTac)

February 2, 2016

OLYMPIA – Washington’s Basic Food program will be getting a bonus from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) for having a high performing state food program.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), often called food stamps, is a federally funded program that helps low-income people put food on their table each month. Each state has their own program; in Washington, it is called Basic Food.

The USDA awards bonuses to states that have efficient and effective SNAP programs. In 2014, Washington had a payment error rate of only 0.77 – the national average is 3.66. This payment error rate is the fourth lowest in the country and the USDA is awarding a bonus of $2,428,058 to Washington’s Basic Food program.

“This is a great example of government working efficiently and making sure that more resources are available for Washingtonians,” said Rep. Mia Gregerson (D-SeaTac). “Every person deserves to have enough healthy and nutritious food to thrive. This bonus will help more kids get the food they need to do better in school and make sure that fewer parents are having to skip meals to keep their kids fed.”

In Washington, one out of every seven people relies on the Basic Food program. About half of the people who use SNAP are kids. Families who make up to 200% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines are eligible for assistance.