Urging our nation's leaders to end hunger

Senator Patty Murray: Washington Families are Desperate


[Editors’ note: For the next few weeks, we’ll be running a series of posts on the Bread Blog about each member of the Super Committee. If Sen. Patty Murray is your member of Congress, please share this blog post with your local family and friends, and message Sen. Murray on her Facebook page or through Twitter.]

You can tell a first-time visitor to a food bank by the shell-shocked look on their faces, says Kelsey Beck, public policy manager at Food Lifeline, a nonprofit food distributor that sends food to more than 300 food banks throughout Western Washington. “We’re hearing from all our member agencies that they are seeing people who used to be donors, who are now waiting in the lines to get food. They can tell who it is when people look a little shell-shocked, or have never used the social services system before,” Beck says.

While Washington state did not feel the immediate effects of the recession due to the strength of the local tech industry, residents weren’t spared the difficulties of the nation’s prolonged economic distress. Nearly one in seven Washingtonians, including more than one in six children, lives below the poverty line ($22,113 for a family of four)—even some with jobs (35.5 percent). Furthermore, charities and food banks such as Food Lifeline are stretched, and many people in Washington don’t know where their next meal is coming from.

Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) co-chairs the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (or Super Committee), which has been charged with identifying at least $1.2 trillion in federal deficit reductions over 10 years by November 23, 2011. The Super Committee can raise taxes, make spending cuts, let tax cuts for wealthy Americans expire, or make changes to anything else in the federal budget.

It’s time for people of faith and conscience to raise their collective voice and ask Sen. Murray to protect programs that help hungry and poor people in Washington, throughout the country, and around the world.

“We’re really in desperate times in our nation,” says Beck. “And it’s in those times that we need our government to help provide basic supports—like food—more than ever. We know Senator Murray has always made a priority of helping people first, and I hope this is what she will bring to this committee.”

Please join Bread and ask Sen. Murray to form a circle of protection around programs that help hungry and poor people. Call Sen. Murray at 1-800-826-3688.

For Washington residents, Sen. Murray has created a special form on her website for you to share your thoughts on deficit reduction.

Official photo of Senator Patty Murray.


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